I have been gone a long time, but it is the holidays, and isn't everyone busy?
First things, first: I have been watching my beloved Tar Heels play ball, sometimes very well, sometimes not so well, but I have been enthralled with every second. I have also been watching other teams. My darling son asked me, "all bias aside" (like I would answer a question with a bias!), who has the better players, Carolina or dook. I told him this year, like last year, we did, hands down. Last year, the same. Year before, dook did. If their players are sometimes better, why did I despise the program so much? I explained that their coach epitomizes their program, just as our coach does ours. I don't have much respect for someone who chooses to play for that coach (or any other coach that I see as less than sportsmanlike), when they have a choice, and if they are being recruited for dook, they do have a choice. There are plenty of good, clean, fair coaches in the NCAA. In the pros, a player doesn't have a lot of choice, but at that level of college ball, they do.
Having mentioned the pros, just let me say that I believe that the fighting, punching, spitting, etc., in the league that we are seeing is inexcusable. These athletes have a gift, and while I realize that basketball (or whatever) is still a job for them, they get to do what they get to do because people watch them do it. I am sad when my kids talk about how well the spoiled brats (we all know who they are) play, and don't get to see (on highlights), or aren't impressed with people like Tim Duncan, or (my personal sports hero) David Robinson (I know, he is retired--but he went with a bang, didn't he?). These folks are impressive, on and off the court. Fans don't get a bye, either. Can you not just appreciate the talent of some of these people? Sportsmanship is shown both on and off the field or court. Do you want your children watching what you do? Or your grandmother?
Next up: I was saddened last Saturday when I pulled into the parking lot of my favorite book store. My favorite bookstore (OK, not exactly my favorite, but the most convenient) shares a parking lot with Toy R Us. First off, I really despise the big box stores. But what made me really sad is this: do people really need all this stuff? The day after Thanksgiving--what was that about? All the complaints about money, gas prices-for Pete's sake, but people think nothing of spending several hundres dollars for an iPod or other MP3 player--FOR A CHILD!! Who will lost it soon, or step on it, or whatever. Really amazing to me what we are teaching our children about giving. Don't tell me "Oh, we buy gifts for charities" etc. Use your time. Take you kids to a place where they can do some good. Show them the importance of school so they don't end up needing charities. Let them fail, so they will know how to pick themselves up. Amazing.
So, another Carolina game tomorrow, then Christmas, and another busy week. I hope yours is more peaceful than mine, although I am going to give peace another try in this house.