The Five: Five Coolest Sporting Events Seen Live

For this edition of “The Five”, I thought I would take a look at the five coolest sporting events I got to see live.  I’m a huge sports fan across the board and there’s a lot of games I’ve been to (and places/events I still want to see.  But up to this point, here are the five (in no particular order):

1.) AFC Wild Card Game January 8, 2000 Buffalo Bills vs. Tennessee Titans

The game that became known as the “Music City Miracle”.  It was my first ever NFL game in person.  It was a big enough event in and of itself being a playoff game and it being the hometown team.  Even more so to have an epic play that propelled the Titans on a playoff run into the Super Bowl.

2.) 2000 Conference USA Men’s Basketball Tournament Final March 11, 2000 Saint Louis vs. DePaul

This was cool for several reasons.  It was the first time I got to see Division I basketball and it was a conference tournament final.  Some friends of mine from college and I drove down to Memphis to see the game in the Pyramid.  The game wasn’t as memorable as just the experience with friends.

3.) Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals May 19, 2009

This was in a lot of way just a typical MLB regular season game but the circumstances behind the game and in the game make it memorable to me.  Earlier that month at seminary, there was a chapel that involved the manager at the time of the Kansas City Royals and the general manager.  There were some giveaways at that chapel and that included tickets to a game.  Well one of my friends ended up getting a four pack of tickets and asked some guy including me to go.  So this was the game the tickets were for.  The seats were lower level kinda near home plate not too far from the players’ families section.  During batting practice I ended up with a baseball and would later get it signed by the manager.  Then the game itself, the Royals were down three runs in the bottom of the 9th and scored 4 runs in the bottom of the ninth (including two back to back home runs, a walk, a triple and a sac fly) to win the game 6-5.

4.) Houston Texans vs Seattle Seahawks October 16, 2005

This was my first primetime NFL game that I got to see in person.  It was cool to see the Seahawks play in person during their first Super Bowl run.  I had gotten tickets from a friend of mine and was able to sit lower level right in the end zone where I got to see a lot of scores from the Seahawks

5.) Memphis Grizzlies vs Seattle Supersonics December 31, 2005

This was a great game not just because it was two of my favorite teams playing each other but it was also New Year’s Eve and after the game got to watch fireworks to ring in the new year at the Space Needle.

So that’s my five (for now).  What would be yours?

“Grit N Grind” Christianity

I’m sitting here watching Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers.  It’s a compelling game.  I wouldn’t say it’s the prettiest game of the year.  In fact I tweeted earlier about how this game made me wish the Memphis Grizzlies were playing tonight.  Their style of basketball is very much in rhythm with this game.  Very hard nosed, defensive minded.

There is a phrase that goes with this and is a trademark of the Grizzlies.  It’s called #gritngrind.  And it’s a lot about persevering and fighting through and giving everything you have.  In a lot of ways, being a follower of Jesus and following Him has that same determination and perseverance.  There are tough times and there are struggles.  There are moments that feel overwhelming.  But the good news is Jesus endured everything for us.  He died on the cross or our sins.  So not only does He know what we’re going through, He has made a way for us if we turn to Him and follow Him.  And He gives us the strength to persevere and endure.

So as I’m reminded of the #gritngrind on the basketball court, I’m also reminded of the #gritngrind in my faith journey following Jesus as well.

Thursday Quote Day: Mike Krzyzewski

This week’s “Thursday Quote Day” is a quote from college basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski:

“We are not born tough. We may be born into a great family situation or a difficult family situation that forces or conditions you to be tough, but we aren’t born that way. Toughness comes from how you handle your experiences, what you learn from them, and how you are guided through them by others in your life.” (Mike Krzyzewski)

Booyah! Thoughts on Stuart Scott

This is two posts in one day.  I haven’t had a multiple post day in a long time but thought it was appropriate given the circumstances.  Everyone that knows me knows I’m a sports geek (though haven’t talked as much sports on this blog as I have in the past).  I was saddened to hear the passing of Stuart Scott yesterday.  For those that don’t know (which given the coverage and the outpouring of support yesterday is probably not that many), Scott was a broadcaster who worked at ESPN since the mid 90s.  He was an anchor for their big news show “SportsCenter” as well as reported from some of the biggest sporting events and interviewed athletes, celebrities and other famous figures.  He passed away from cancer that he had been fighting for about 7 years now.

My family got cable in the early 90s.  So my first big pairing of anchors on SportsCenter that I watched was Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann.  When they worked on SportsCenter, dubbed “The Big Show”, would be at night but would be re-aired in the morning and I would watch while eating breakfast getting ready for school at like 6:00am.  When the mid 90s rolled around and I was a teenager, the pairing that I watched at that time was Stuart Scott and Rich Eisen.  I first saw Scott when ESPN2 debuted and he was one of their first anchors for that new network but really his pairing with Eisen was I remember the most.  Scott and Eisen had that same connection that Patrick and Olbermann had and were just as entertaining.

Scott had some of the coolest catchphrases that he used.  Some of them I would integrate into my daily life whether it was playing sports or video games or whatever.  Some of my favorites was “Booyah!” “As cool as the other side of the pillow” “Can I get a witness from the congregation!” and “You ain’t gotta go home but you gotta get the heck up outta here”.

Like a lot of people you grow up watching on TV, you feel like you know the people you watch.  Watching SportsCenter anchors like Stuart Scott, I felt like he was a friend I could enjoy watching sports with.  I never met him personally but I always enjoyed his work and was a fan.

He fought cancer with the kind of fight that is admirable.  I hope that he was a believer, I don’t know if he was or not but I hope that he is.  Stuart Scott is someone who made an impact on my life and I will miss seeing him on my TV covering sports.  I pray for his family and close friends as they go through this tough time and reminded to tell those I care about and love how much I care and love them.  As I end, I want to share a video of Scott doing highlights back in the 90s.  Check it out: