Monday, September 17, 2012

Softball+Soccer+CFB+Flag football+Fishing

I have always said that I would rather be busy than not. In fact, I am a firm believer that I am more efficient when I have a lot to do.

Plus, I have really found a new love for participating in sports. Not only do I love to play, I am a decent athlete, and it helps me stay in shape. Of course, as I get older, I have more aches and pains.

So, how far back do I go to start the weekend? Well, even though we had soccer practice Thursday night, where 8 8 and under girls run me to death, I doubt yall want to hear about that (though you prob don't care anyway, since it doesn't involve fishing, zombies, or both).

As a UAH graduate, I still qualify to play in their intramural sports. Now, when I was at UAH, intramural sports was something reserved mostly for the fraternities. As the school grows, the desire to participate in school sanctioned events increases. So, although I had played flag football for years, it's only been in the last few years that it was more than just a "eh, I don't have anything better to do". In fact, the last two years, we have had a decent team. We hold practices, etc.

Ok, I am getting a little ahead of myself. One of the recent developments is that they have added a softball league. It isn't big. In fact, there are only 2 co-ed teams. But, with the NASA league done for the year, and being a few months from a new Sportsplex season, it couldn't hurt to play. Especially when it's free! So, Alyse and I joined up.

I explained the the team captain that we were decent players, we played a lot, and we were dedicated. So, he was happy to have us.

Now, can you imagine the faces of these....well, I will call it like it is....kids. Imagine their faces when we roll up and file out with 3 kids, a babysitter, and grandparents to watch. In fact, other than the UAH staff, we were the ONLY people to bring someone to the game.

Imagine our faces as we listened to the dugout conversations. Hey, I was there once...but man, was it an eye opener to gain an ensite into the lives of the modern freshman/sophomore.

Anyway, I led off with a double. Took a walk my next at bat, and flyed out my 3rd at bat. Alyse didn't do much better. But, we played well. No errors. Alyse played fairly great at 1st base. I didn't have a ball hit to me all night.

Before we knew it, the game was over. Ended in a 4-8 loss. Just like that, we were packing all the kids. Now, I found out there was also a men's league that plays after the co-ed. Since the same guys we played with also play that league, and since it is such a hassle to load up and get out there, I let them know I would play if they needed a player. The obliged.

Saturday morning, Aubree had a soccer game. This year has been very rough for me as a coach. I have spent considerable effort developing players. Not necessarily developing a winning team. Big difference. So, you can imagine how frustrating it is to get beat by teams who just want to win. Even at the cost of developing their players. Well, finally I started to see the light. My team played terrific, finally picking up the things we had really been preaching. Things like, don't bunch up, play on your side of the field, don't miss free kicks. We finally "won" (since you don't win in AYSO).

Fox picked up the Auburn game (gasp) against LA-Monroe. After watching them dismantle Arkansas, I had already conceded a loss. I really question OC Loeffler's play calling so far. There is never a reason to throw on 1st down. When you have a QB that has thrown more picks than completions, that should seal the deal. Despite doing everything they could to loose the game, AU came away with a win. So, Zach is happy. Sorta. Not really. So, after the game, I watched Tennessee (the Vols are back, yall!) prove that they are, in fact, not back. They were so terrible in the late stages of the game that THIS happened:


I improved to 10-2 in Fantasy football, including another 200+ point game. Whoot! Man, I love those boys from West Virginia(Stepman Bailey, Geno Smith, Tavon Austin) . My one loss this week came on the team where I started Matt Barkley, Silas Redd, and Robert Woods from USC, who fell apart against Stanford. Again. That's like 6 out of 8 years, folks. Jokers. The downside is that two of my favorite players have become utterly useless. Auburn's Emory Blake and Philip Lutzenkirchen. Seriously, the league has this to say about them:

Emory Blake: Quarterback Kiehl Frazier is really killing Emory Blake's fantasy value, to the point that he isn't worth owning outside of SEC-only leagues.

Lutzy: Quarterback Kiehl Frazier has Philip Lutzenkirchen's fantasy value tanked quite badly right now. He's probably not worth owning in any scenario.

Common denominator? Hmmm.

So, Sunday rolled around and we went to Church. Had a great lunch with my Church Family at the Madison COC.

And then....flag football time at UAH. Been looking forward to it forever, as had many of my friends. We have a core team of 6-7 guys, but you have to have more like 12-14 dependable guys. So, we picked up a few free agents. One in particular caught our eyes. Guy named Ethan. Looked like the QB we needed after losing our QB last year in the first game. I did my best last year, but at 5 foot 3, I am limited in seeing the receivers. Or the tops of the grass. Sigh.

So, for once, we have enough players to play a full offense and defense. Since we concentrate on D, I and my friend Nick, whom played football with me in HS, make up the defensive backfield and I call the plays for the O.

We went on defense first and forced a punt right off the bat. The O quickly went 3 and out as well. We worked the ball to midfield by calling some short plays. Finally, I spotted their corners stepping up closer to the line. Called the airstrike up. Outside receiver ran a deep post, slot ran a deep corner. Boom. 6 points.

The extra point failed. Right back on defense we went. Their drive stalled on a 3rd and 9, but they went for it. For some reason, our other safety had started birdogging their short routes. And there it went. Right over his head. The other team hadn't gained 5 yards all day and they put 6 points on us. The extra point failed. Tied ball game.

Our offense initially made a good drive on their end of the field, but with a costly sack, we faced 4th and a good chunk. But, being on their end, we went for it and didn't get it.

I already knew that my receiver was getting anxious. I had been baiting him for awhile...trying to jump his short routes. So, I looked back at Nick and let him know the bomb was coming. The receiver made a double move, I went with him, and here came the pass. It floated just a bit and I nabbed it. Up the sideline I went until I ran out of bounds on the 10 going in.

We had one play before half so we dialed up a misdirection. We ran everyone right and snuck Josh out of the center spot into the left flat. It worked perfect. But, though he is a quick guy, he isn't as quick as the guy that walled him off at the 1 yard line. Half time.

We came out on offense and orchestrated a flawless drive. Bang them short. Bang them short. QB draw. Bomb. TD.

We went for 2 and Ethan slid across the goal line. The ref was right on top of it and called it good. But the other ref...across the field and between 6 other dudes...waved it off! WAVED IT OFF! We couldn't believe it! He had NO ANGLE! But, what can you do.

Back on Defense with 6 minutes to go. They figured out that they couldn't beat us long so they started hitting draw plays and slants. We were stringing them out to 3rd and long and 4th and short, but they always seemed to make the play. No matter. When we got the goal line, it would get a lot harder on them. But, once again, our safety got caught bird dogging for a deep ball. Sigh. They went for the extra point and brought their tallest guy to my side. Before I could swap with someone taller, they snapped the ball, tossed it to the moon and told him to go get it. And he did. 13-12 with 1 minute to go.

Going again with body blows, we moved the ball up the field. At midfield, we dropped a costly open ball. 2nd down, hit our TE in the left flat for a good gain to set up a 3rd down. Called up the quick slants, but they jumped them. Our RB, Andre, came streaking across the middle but Ethan's pass was high and went off his fingers. 4th and too many. But, we did what we had to do and called up a deep crossing route.

Receiver came across the field, Ethan let a perfect ball fly. Nate, the receiver, got his hands on it, but the defense came over his back and knocked it away.

So, we took a loss. But what a HECK of a game!

To make the day go a little sweeter, I did what I had promised the kids I would do. I took them fishing at the Publix land trust. We fished for one hour and caught 10 fish. They were just a biting a weightless Yum Dinger!