Archive for the ‘random’ Category

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.

Drama done right

April 11, 2011

I had never heard of Charl Schwartzel before this weekend.

Yet he took home the green jacket yesterday at Augusta with four birdies down the stretch to win going away.

I dare say it was the best few hours of golf I’ve ever watched, though I freely admit that my sample size is not all that large.

Wonderful stuff yesterday. Really enjoyed it.

Manny being Manny…again

Manny Ramirez retired from baseball over the weekend, in the wake of becoming baseball’s first two-time loser in its PED testing policy.

Rather than face a 100-game suspension, he slipped out the clubhouse door and off into the sunset.

Good riddance, I say, to a guy that decided long ago that – because he can hit a baseball – that the rules of decency and fair play don’t apply to him.

I hope he never sniffs the Hall of Fame. In fact, I think he should have to stay 100 miles away from Cooperstown for all eternity.

What a muppet.

Disney alert

I’m heading down to sunny Florida Saturday to take in Disney and Universal with the wife, boy and parents-in-law.

Here’s hoping for good times and a lack of sun burn…

 

Don’t be that guy

March 30, 2011

Every office has that guy.

The guy who is just tearing it up in the bracket contest, and just has to tell you how smart he was that he had Kentucky in the Final Four.

My bracket looks like Bourbon Street after Mardi Gras – dirty, smelly and full of things I might regret.

OK, so maybe it wasn’t the best idea to pick San Diego State as the national champion. I’m not playing to win.

At least, it doesn’t appear that I am, since I’ve been doing this for north of 20 years with exactly two wins to show for it (and full disclosure, none since 1995).

I play for fun, and hearing some muppet tell me how awesome he’s doing doesn’t add to my experience.

Maybe I’m just jealous.

Check back tomorrow when I’ll make my annual, and horribly bad, baseball predictions.

And don’t forget, if you play fantasy baseball – like I do – nobody that isn’t in y0ur league, trying really hard to take your money, gives a rats rear end about your draft.

Telling anyone else about it makes you that guy.

 

A March full of madness

March 21, 2011

Wow.

As I sit here Monday morning, I marvel at the fantastic weekend of college basketball we just had.

My bracket is doing OK, as I have six of the Elite Eight and all four Final Four picks still alive.

And if San Diego State wins the whole thing, I’m going to look really smart.

But, let’s look back.

There were 17 games decided by six points or less, and another that went to double overtime.

Butler continues to shock the world, and their coach, Brad Stevens, has to be the hottest coaching prospect out there right now.

The next big-time school with an opening should pack up a Brinks truck and park it in his driveway.

I feel bad for Pittsburgh, ODU, Michigan and every other team that had its heart ripped out.

And even though my team was dust before 3 p.m. on Thursday, I think this may be my favorite dance ever.

Oh yeah, go Aztecs!

The start of tennis season

March 7, 2011

OK, it’s already tennis season.

If you’re a professional.

For me, the opening of the 2011 tennis season happened over the weekend at Lake Wilson Tennis Club in Elm City (Wilson).

It went very much as expected, which is to say not all that well.

After the evil USTA computer moved me up to 3.5 in January 2010, I’ve known the outcome of virtually every tournament match I’ve played in since.

Pain.

I do win every once in a while, as the blind squirrel theory applies to tennis. But typically I end up playing someone in far better shape with much more game than me, and it rarely ends well.

Still, craving exercise and a dose of competition, I renew my USTA membership every year.

No, I’m not really sure why.

Anyway, the point of this story is today, two full days after my last match, I can barely walk, stand up, sit down or walk up or down stairs.

Body-wise, I’m 34 going on 80.

At least I didn’t cry after I lost.

A flip, for old times’ sake

February 21, 2011

We bought Ethan a trampoline for his ninth birthday, and two Saturdays ago – with considerable help from Brad Tindall and David Westbrooks – we put it together.

Now, it’s been a hit with everyone at the Capps’ household. Ethan likes it, and Shanna has even bounced on it a few times as well.

Me? I love it.

I grew up playing on trampolines. The main one was a rectangular one at my grandparents’ house.

It was red with paint and rust, and completely lacking in the safety features (read: padding and net) that you see with all of today’s newer models.

Yes, I fell off of it more than once.

Yes, I landed between the springs and the bar more than once.

And one day before baseball practice, I landed on the pole in a place no young man wants to.

Ouch.

Anyway, by the time I reached my driving years – thus rendering me too old to spend weekends at my grandparents’ house – I was quite an accomplished jumper.

My best trick was the front flip, where I would jump and, well, flip while sticking the landing.

Well, since we got the trampoline, I’ve been reliving my past.

I decided early on that I wanted to do the flip again.

Now, I’ve aged about 20 years and put on about 70 pounds since those days. So it was slow going at first.

First, I had to work up the courage to actually flip. The mature mind ponders the dangers involved – things like landing on my head – while jumping, which is not the mind frame you need to be in.

So, finally I leave my feet.

It didn’t take long to realize that, while I wasn’t going to land on my head, I wasn’t going to be landing on my feet, either.

So, lying there on my back, I congratulated myself on not dying and made mental notes on how to improve the attempt next time.

A few days pass, and all of a sudden it’s yesterday afternoon.

At halftime of the Clemson/Miami game, I decided to go out and make an attempt.

Ethan decided to tag along and watch.

I had been thinking that, if I just tucked my knees in a little, maybe I could generate the torque needed to get my feet back on the ground after a flip.

That bit of physics, and my giggling son watching me, inspired me.

I took a bounce. Then another. Then, an even bigger one.

Finally, I started the flip.

I tucked my knees in a little and felt my feet coming around.

The world was a blur of black, green and white (safety net, pine trees and sky, if you’re wondering) as I stuck my feet down, hoping to find the floor of the trampoline.

Then, it happened.

My socked feet stopped moving, landing square in the middle of the trampoline.

I let out a yell and fell to my knees, arms raised to the sky.

Ethan cheered wildly. I think he may have actually been impressed.

We made so much racket that Shanna ran outside to see what the fuss was about.

I told her I did a flip.

She asked for another one.

Feeling supremely confident, I stood up, took a few bounces and pulled off another flip.

She might have actually been impressed, too.

I think about getting older sometimes. Or every time I look into a mirror and see where my hair used to be.

Or when I realize that my little boy is halfway to adulthood.

But for one afternoon, I gave Father Time a stiff arm.

I did two flips.

And my knees only hurt a little…

Hello, friends

January 11, 2011

Wow, I’ve been neglecting this blog something awful.

I’m sorry about that.

There’s been a lot happening to me of late and, without getting into too many details, I haven’t really been up to discretionary blogging.

But we’re about to change all of that.

Until then, hang in there and be patient with me…

A Tribe Called Kinston

December 16, 2010

I was saddened to read in my good friend Bryan Hanks’ blog that the Indians’ Class A team is leaving Kinston after the 2011 season to play in Zebulon.

I understand the move.

Grainger Stadium lacks the modern amenities that the new park in Zebulon can offer.

But I still hope another minor league club ends up there.

It may be 61 years old, I but enjoy catching a ball game there.

There isn’t a bad seat in the joint, and you can get a hot dog and a beer without taking out a second mortgage.

I’ve been several times now, and I’m going to be bummed if 2011 proves to be the last time.

Two trains, one track

July 22, 2010

DENVER - SEPTEMBER 20:  A detail of the NFL logo on painted on the sideline grass as the Cleveland Browns face the Denver Broncos during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on September 20, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Browns 27-6.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) 

I don’t like to be philosophical before lunch as a general rule, but today, I’ll make an exception.

I’m really going to miss the NFL in 2011.

As you may know, the owners opted out of the CBA at the end of last season, setting up this year as uncapped and putting the league and its players at the bargaining table in an effort to avoid some sort of work stoppage next spring.

DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players’ Association, chatted for a few minutes with ESPN Radio Wednesday morning, tossing out words like collusion and sounding very much like the aggressive and tough lawyer that he is.

NFL VP Jeff Pash, commissioner Roger Goodell’s right-hand man and point man for the league in the current collective bargaining agreement talks with the players’ union, had his turn at the podium this morning.

He sang a different tune, as you might imagine.

It’s a complex issue with a lot of different threads to be woven into a new CBA, but here are the basic sticking points.

Revenue sharing

The answer to every question in sports, and indeed life, is money. Currently, the league takes a billion dollars off the top of its revenues and splits the remainder (about $8 billion) with the players at a 60/40 clip, in favor of the union.

Owners want to keep more of that pile of money while players want a bigger slice of the pie.

This isn’t going to be easy, but at the end of the day, they’ll figure this out.

After all, the average fan won’t care about billionaires and millionaires arguing over huge sums of cash.

Drug testing

Pash was asked this morning if the union was against the league implementing a test for hGh, or human growth hormone, and was response was “absolutely.”

The latest test, approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency, requires the drawing of blood – a major sticking point for the average pro athlete.

The league wants the test. The union, citing privacy issues, does not.

It’s a major gap in positions.

Rookie wage scale

Everyone agrees that the average NFL first-rounder makes entirely too much money.

The league wants a rookie wage scale, similar to the one in place for the NBA, that slots players into contracts based on where they are selected.

The union seems to agree that some sort of system is needed, but they want to make sure that the owners don’t pocket that money currently going to rookies. Smith wants those funds diverted to NFL retirees and veteran players.

Ultimately, I think this will happen. It’s just a question of details.

The 18-game schedule

The league very much wants to scrap the last two preseason games – and really, would we miss them – and add two regular season games to the schedule.

Hooray longer fantasy football season!

The players say they’re concerned about injuries and watering down the product.

What they’re really worried about is getting more money for those two games.

Goodell and company want this badly, so they’ll give up some dough to get it done.

In the end, I may not be quite as doom and gloom as I made out in my opening.

But one thing is for sure: DeMarcus Smith is far less chummy with the league brass than his predecessor, Gene Upshaw, was.

A deal may happen.

But it isn’t going to be easy, and it’s not likely to be soon.

A promise…maybe

July 16, 2010

This blog has become very much like my tennis rackets.

Beloved, but not used nearly enough.

That changes Monday.

Seriously.

I promise.