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A Moment in Time

I remember  the very first major league baseball game that I attended.  That might not surprise you.  But the fact that I remember the score might. In fact, here’s the game’s line score:

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And I have even attached the boxscore! (Here) Which is probably only interesting to me. But, this is such a great memory. And life is about moments.

But why would I have such an indelible memory of this game? And how did I remember the exact date of the game? Well, the answer is the same for both questions. It comes from baseball-reference.com in a note about a Chicago White Sox third-baseman named Bill Melton:

“After attending Citrus College, where he also played football, Melton was signed by the White Sox in 1964 and reached the majors in 1968. He was the team’s starting third baseman the following Opening Day, in 1969 (replacing Pete Ward) and clubbed 23 homers that year. However, while he was a success at the plate, he struggled in the field. In 1970, he made 12 errors in his first 24 games at third. The twelfth error, misjudging a routine pop fly, broke his nose, and not long after he returned from the injury, he was moved to right field. From July 23rd to July 28th of that same summer, he struck out in 11 consecutive at-bats over the course of four games. Nonetheless, he ended the year with a White Sox record 33 home runs, sixth best in the American League

I remember sitting very high up. Almost at the top of Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. Sometime as described, I remember a high pop up around third base. Melton settled under it… and it came down right on his nose. He was knocked unconscious and was lying on the field for a while. Even as young as I was… that memory has always stayed with me.

I could not remember when I went to my first baseball game. So,  just “on a lark”, I decided to see if there was anything written about it. Sure enough, Bill Melton had it in his biography. One moment that impacted his baseball career. A broken nose!

This same kind of memory of events shows itself repeatedly in my law practice. Many times during depositions, the defendant will remember very little about the day of the crash. Conversely, my client will remember exact details because it impacted life.

That game night is a great memory for me. Not so much for Bill Melton.

And for pic o’ day, I still think that right now, this kind of shopping is occurring… or something like this?

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It’s Just Words

I just decided to start out the Friday blog with some furry pups, because how can you be angry!

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And now on to our words. This one could be categorized as “What is in a name?”. Because the Dodgers lost to the Astros in the World Series, how about some thoughts on the words of Los Angeles?  The original name of Los Angeles was El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles del rio Porciuncula. That translates into The Village of our Lady the Queen of the Angels of the Porciuncula River. I think Dodgers is a much easier name for a team.

The most used words in a movie?  “Let’s get out of here.” (Yes, the Honeymoon Salad is Lettuce Alone)

How about the word Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia?. It is the fear of big words. Scares me!

The longest name of a place?  Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipuakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu. It is a name of a hill in New Zealand. The name literally means “The place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed, and swallowed mountains, known as land-eater, played on the flute to his loved one. It seems to me that it would just be easier to say that I live over that hill… or turn left where you hear the flute.

Those are words, just words for our Friday blog.

I hope you have a great weekend. And don’t forget to turn back your clock(s) on Saturday night. You deserve an extra hour of sleep!

And for pic o’ day, I have seen this Kermit picture with many different captions, but this one goes with our theme of words! Not fun size!

 

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The Wet Ball Drill

For Our Monday Blog, I again start with a picture to just get us going. It could be a leadership theme…right? Plus Uncle D reminded me that I have been posting a lot of dog pictures lately. So the streak continues!

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As a lead-in to the blog, I reference a line from the poem written by Samuel Coleridge in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, (Wikipedia) He wrote about the men on the ship, after the Mariner had shot the albatross that was going to lead the ship out of danger, as it headed toward Antarctic waters.

They had a plan and expectation to survive, because of the albatross. Then, that plan was gone. One-by-one the men on the ship began to die. The poem describes the ship as “Corpses man the ship; dead men pull the oars; dead men hoist the sails; dead men steer the vessel”.

They had no plan. They had no purpose.

Without getting too crazy into the analysis of the poem (you can read the poem and the analysis in the attachments) that was published in 1798, I only borrow from it to make a point. The blog today is about a picture that I see, as I sit in my study at home:

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Above the picture is a framed poster that summarizes the football season of the Indianapolis Colts. That year, on February 4, 2007, they won Super Bowl XLI by beating the Chicago Bears 29-17.

The weather report for that game in Miami was indicating a probability of constant steady rain. As part of that season’s preparation, Peyton Manning and his center, Jeff Saturday, would practice the wet ball drill. Saturday didn’t like it very much because he always ended up soaked by the time that practice had ended.

The Colts managers  would soak several balls in water to make them a bit soggy. That way, the practice exchange between center and quarterback prepared them for rainy games.

The morning of the Super Bowl, Manning woke up knowing that their rainy day preparation, with the wet ball drill, was going to be important.

During the game, there were six fumbles between the two teams. But, Saturday and Manning had no problem from center to quarterback. They followed their preparation.

I remember the excitement I felt when the Colts won that Superbowl. I also remember how proud I felt, when I saw the picture of the Colts, all huddled in prayer. It’s what I see in my study.

It’s going to be a great Monday! And speaking of planning… our pic o’day:

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Standing During the National Anthem

I am just going to start with one of those before-and-after pictures:

 

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I just wanted to insert that first picture, because I keep seeing “human” pictures like that on Facebook; and a dog picture really makes me smile.

Which leads me on to a more serious topic for the blog. What do you think about players not standing for the National Anthem? With the NFL season starting tonight, I am sure that we will see someone this weekend who decides not to stand. Honestly, it gets me kind of riled up. But I know there are those who disagree.

On that topic, here is what the Kansas City Chiefs owner has advised his organization:

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Now what do you think of that?

You won’t see this as an issue in the NBA. When the most recent collective bargaining agreement was entered into between the owners and the NBA players, it became a contract issue that all the players would stand for the National Anthem. So, not an issue in the NBA.

I suspect that during the next NFL negotiation, that this will become part of the negotiation. No longer a first amendment issue. Instead, a contract issue. However, it is worth noting some case law on the question of whether someone has the right not to stand.

Let’s turn to something similar. A failure to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance. In West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943), the Supreme Court ruled that requiring students to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

In public schools, the Supreme Court said that you could not make students stand. In the NFL, there is no rule requiring players to stand for the National Anthem. On the flip side, no one has said that employment law requires an owner to employ a player who will not stand. So, while the NFL has not come out with an official position, something like a statement from an owner like the Chiefs owner will have the following consequence… I bet no one sits during the Chiefs game.  What do you think?

And for pic o’ day, life is about being there for your friends. Right?

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Your Hyperbole Number?

I started to write a blog about what a social security number tells you about someone. So I began to read this article and for the life of me, I still am not sure what it means. (if you click on the article and you understand, let me know… and your’re hired. We have an office waiting!)

Maybe it doesn’t really mean what it says. Like “keep clam”? Does it make sense?

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The first three numbers has something to do with the geographical area where the person was living when they received the number, assuming you were applying during certain years. At least I gathered that much. Right? Of course, some things seem obvious and others don’t:

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But I digress. The real reason for the blog is that I was talking to my cousin this weekend about his podcast. It’s about various phrases. Because he lives in Brazil, it’s a popular podcast to discuss sayings that are in English. For instance, As a crow flies was one of his podcast topics. I recommended that someone was traveling a stone’s throw.

We do have some crazy expressions. We don’t always really say what we mean. When the Indianapolis Colts traded for Trent Richardson, the coach called him “a rolling ball of butcher knives”. Now, he’s out of the league and probably eating a 48-ounce-steak instead. (I think he’s gained 600 pounds since then. Can you tell I am a bitter Colts fan?)

When the Cleveland Browns selected Mike Junkin in the 1987 draft, their coach called him a mad dog in a meat market. Do you know who Mike Junkin is? Didn’t think so. Maybe he just got lost in the market.

The point of this blog? Sometimes you start out wanting to write about social security and you end up with a bunch of hyperbole. And that’s like an onomatopoeia… or something like that. I’d rather be using slogans like a balanced diet means a cupcake in each hand. Right again?

I’m on a roll! (I love rolls)

(And it’s just Tuesday… which means that it might be time for a vacation!)

 

And for pic o’ day, I thought a simple expression was all that was needed!

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No More Chopping Wood

I admit that my motivation level is a bit down with rain and snow seemingly hovering. What is going on? Which brings me to the story of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, and their poor attempt at motivation.

In 2003, rookie coach Jack Del Rio (now current coach of the Oakland Raiders) decided to motivate his players by placing a stump of oak and an ax in the middle of their locker room. He wanted to emphasize the importance of just continuing to stay at it and “keep choppin’ wood”.

On October 9 of that year, punter Chis Hanson decided to get all fired up in the locker room. He grabbed the ax, looked at his teammates as if to say “I’m choppin’ wood too”, and then swung the ax at the stump. It bounced off the wood and hit him in the foot. Not a good place for a punter! The injury was to his non-kicking foot but it was serious enough that he did not play the rest of the season. There are other ways to be motivated.

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Maybe a better slogan would have been to just “stay in the trenches” and they could have dug a hole and let players sleep there… or something. A good way to sleep fast.

Still, it’s a good thing to be motivated. To want, commit, stay focused… and stay away from the ax in the room!

And for pic o’ day, here’s a textbook editor who was destined to think the right way:

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Turning the Clocks Forward

I had a great weekend! And doesn’t it sound positive to turn the clocks forward?

It was filled with activities that included going to a play on Friday at the Virginia Repertory Theatre. The play is adapted from a book titled The End of War, written by my friend and author David L. Robbins. Historical fiction that is attention-grabbing.

I also attended a retirement party in Virginia Beach, for Brenda Jennings. She taught me in high school and has had such an impact on so many lives. Mary Jo Harrell posted pictures and a video and also tagged them to my Facebook page. One video posting includes me saying a few words of thanks. (Yes, if you see it, you might notice that I did grow some facial hair. It’s cold outside!)

And one final mention from the weekend. I attended a soccer tournament in Richmond and watched my 11-year-old nephew play. It was cold but really made me smile.

These are the good days!

This upcoming week filled with lots of basketball and the excitement of the start of the NCAA tournament. Will a Cinderella team dance to the final four?  More twists and turns than a Rubik’s Cube.

The hope of excellence. The certainty of excitement. The sanctity of pure competition. (I know… I’m getting crazy. I was pretending that my sequence of sentences was being read in one of those sports announcer voices, like the voice that famously spoke “The frozen tundra of Lambeau Field” in NFL Films)

With all that sports and basketball in mind, that leads me to a good reminder of the pursuit of success. This comes from a Nike poster:

I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.
And that is why I succeed.

Michael Jordan
And for pic o’ day, from Bleacher Report. A creative NCAA basketball game sign that makes me laugh:

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Staying Prepared

Elephants need jobs too. But that has nothing to do with this blog. Just had to get that off my chest. I’m not staying focused!

Ray Allen recently retired after an NBA career that spanned 18 years. He “wrote to himself” in this article at Players Tribune titled Letter to My Younger Self.

The reason that the article grabbed me is two-fold. First, in the article, he writes that life is not a time machine. He writes that he wishes he could tell himself that, “You need to stay focused”, and then recites all the reasons that you can’t go back.

I found that interesting as an overlay to an article that quoted one of his prior coaches, Erik Spoelstra, who said that he always wanted Allen to play on his team because of the way he stayed focused and prepared. He ultimately did and won a championship with the Miami Heat.

In the Miami Herald he recites an example of why Allen was so successful in an article titled Ray Allen’s ‘crazy’ drills, work ethic remain enduring examples in Heat locker room.

 “He would lay on the floor, pop up, backpedal, have the presence of mind to have his feet set and not out of bounds and have a coach throw him the ball,” Spoelstra said. “Afterwards I said, ‘That seemed like a crazy drill. Why would he do something like laying down in the middle of the floor?’

 “He said, ‘It’s extreme, but I want to prepare myself for when I’m in the lane and hit the floor, or I’m on the ground and there’s an offensive rebound so I have the fundamentals to be able to back pedal, stay in bounds and be able to knock down shots.’ ”

The article goes on to describe how that very situation basically occurred in Game 5 of the 2014 NBA Finals. Allen hit his most famous shot with 5.2 seconds left in Game 6 of the 2013 Finals, which sent the game into overtime and eventually the series to a Game 7. When Miami ultimately won the championship, everyone pointed to Allen’s amazing shot from the corner, without realizing that it didn’t just happen.

But as Coach Spoelstra put it, “Things don’t happen by accident the majority of the time in this league. It was an incredible thing to see, but that’s how Ray Allen was with his workouts. And it was on all levels — his conditioning, his shooting, his footwork. He was really maniacal about the details.”

Abraham Lincoln said about preparation, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”.

The Ray Allen preparation grabbed me on a professional level. In the months of November and December we have several jury trials. Right now, the preparation is being completed. Life is full of surprises but our hope is that we are always prepared for what might happen next.

I hope you have a great weekend!

For pic o’ day, I am posting a picture from a friend with a look-back to Halloween. This made me laugh:

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Bark at the Dog

If you are an NFL football fan, you might have been watching on the third day of last week’s draft.

The fourth-round pick of the  Indianapolis Colts, was Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison.  There was some question about his past conduct, because he had been arrested on July 2013 for barking at a police dog.

Charges were dropped three days later, with officers stating that they had determined that Morrison didn’t bark at the dog out of malice. On the Florida police report it was noted that Morrison’s defense was that he barked because the dog barked first.

Now that’s a defense. Of course, best not roar at a lion…if they roar at you first!

And this pic o’ day reminded me of how good it makes me feel to be told, “you’re having a bad hair day”. That’s a compliment when you are follically challenged! (Of course, I promise you will never say I look good in a tank top. Not part of the wardrobe! Some things I can control)

 

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A Document Worth

What is it worth? Documents detailing some of the original “Laws of Base Ball” sold for $3.26 million on early Sunday morning, It set a new record for the highest-priced baseball document. (ESPN)  .

The same auction house in charge of this sale also noted that a 1920 New York Yankees’ Babe Ruth jersey sold in an auction for $4.4 million in 2012. That same year,  the Naismith Rules of Basketball sold for $4.3 million.

According to the ESPN article, The original rules of baseball, as written by Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams, stipulated that the ball could not weigh less than 5¾ ounces, and the bat could be of any length; but no more than 2½ inches at its widest part. The rules also stated that there would be four bases, 30 yards apart, with each base being one square foot.

I always believe that auction items make for a good jury argument, when discussing an injury case. If we put such value on a document and paper, what is the worth of a permanent injury to a leg that causes a lifetime of pain, or a lifetime of worry.

What is it worth to be able to put on an outfit and feel so good… that you don’t even have to look in the mirror?  No scars or pain. Just to feel happy. Emotional value! What is the worth of not having to worry about making that next house payment? Real life values.  Just a thought!

And for pic o’ day…

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