Posted in Blazers, Sports

A Dark Day For Blazer Fans

A dark day for Blazer fans.  The architect of the team that brought us out of the jailblazer image has been summarily fired, apparently because Paul Allen and his Vulcan buddies were jealous of K.P.’s success and the accolades that came with it.  I really wanted to believe that our petulant owner had turned a corner and had put the pettiness and the win at any cost mentality behind him, but it looks as though we are still dealing with the man who ran over the small business people who depended on him as he filed bankruptcy and looked to get out-of-town or force the city into catering to his rich boy desires.   The man who dumped Bill Shoenly, fired Rick Adelman and drove Clyde out of town.   A skunk still stinks even if he hides his stripes. 

The frontrunner to replace KP seems to be Mark Warkentien, the guy who brought Zack Randolph to town.  He’s been in Denver.  You don’t have to look far to see where the Blazers are headed if he takes charge.  Get ready for whole body tattoos and surly power players and a return to the days when we win a lot on talent but don’t have the kind of character to finish.  Were used to that.  How many years did we put up with the brilliant but flawed teams with Randolph, Bonzi Wells, Rasheed Wallace, Isiah Ryder, et al?

Warkentein is reportedly the source of all the anonymous stories of KP’s arrogance and demeaning comments about his superiors.  He has coveted the Portland job since he left and was passed over when KP got the job.  I see a return to the days when the fans and the press were considered the enemy and kept in the dark and treated as though their support didn’t matter anyway.  The good news is tickets will probably become a lot easier to come by in the next couple of years.  Looks like the Blazers will go the way of most of Paul’s other businesses; in the toilet. 

As a longtime Blazer fan (since their formation) it is a very hard realization that the excitement and anticipation of the past four years has once again turned to trepidation.  I endured the years of bad behavior but was reduced for a while to simply reading the write-up in the paper rather than wasting my time watching a bunch of guys that I would want to shield my family from if I encountered them off the court.  If we go back to those days I don’t think that I will bother to even follow it.  If it goes bad again I’ll know that the biggest change needed is at the top.  Isn’t there an owner out there from Portland who could take a little pride in the package that they put on the court. 

 As a longtime Raider fan, I am well aware of the damage that an out of touch owner who lives in his own little world can do to a sports team.  Are Al Davis and Paul Allen cousins?  There seems to be a shared gene that has never evolved to a state of common sense. 

Paul is that wimpy little kid who owns all the toys and if he doesn’t get his way he gathers up his toys and goes home.  That could be his next move.  The Seattle Trailblazers.  I’m getting to the point of saying go for it.  You’ve broken them anyway.

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Posted in Inspirational

One Hundred Years Of Father’s Day

A hundred years ago Sonora Smart Dodd decided that fathers should have a day to honor them similar to the recently created Mother’s Day.  To honor her father she sought the help of the local YMCA in Spokane, WA and the first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19th, 1910. 

At first derided as another frivolous holiday to be commercialized and have the effect of watering down an already overloaded calendar.  Slowly, the idea caught on, gaining momentum as president Woodrow Wilson publicly approved of the holiday in 1916 and again in 1924 when Calvin Coolidge  endorsed the holiday to foster “more intimate relations between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations.” 

Sixty-two years passed between that first celebration and official recognition when president Richard Nixon signed the holiday into law.  This followed Lyndon Johnson’s 1966 proclamation officially honoring fathers on the third Sunday in June. 

In 1974 Sonora Smart Dodd was honored at the world fair in Spokane.  She had wanted her father’s birthday, June 5, to be the day to honor fathers but more time was needed to prepare for that first celebration, and so the nineteenth was selected.

Sonora Smart died in 1978, at age 96.

Today Father’s Day remains a day to honor our fathers and the other father figures in our lives, but I think that it is a great idea for fathers to take the time to reflect upon their role as a father and the responsibility that that entails.  Too often we want to be honored but refuse to acknowledge the areas in which we have fallen short.  I challenge all fathers to take a moment on your day to determine in which areas you can improve in the coming year to provide your children the security and love that only we can provide for our children. 

I challenge all children, as they choose that card or gift to really consider the sacrifices and the hard work that your father has invested in you and your success and happiness, and to look beyond the times that he might have disappointed or fallen short and realize that he did the best he could with the tools and the knowledge that he had. 

We all, as fathers, have moments that we would like to take back or do over, but in the end, given what God has blessed us with in our families and friends, would be loathe to change anything for fear that it might change everything.  For all the mistakes that I have made, I ended up with the best family that I could have hoped for. 

By the way, the most popular gift for Father’s Day is the necktie (surprise,surprise), and the second most popular is the rose, the official Father’s Day flower.  In 1910 YMCA members attended church services wearing roses to honor their fathers; a red rose if their father was living and a white one if their father was deceased.

Unfortunately I would have to wear a white rose today.  My father passed away twelve years ago, and each year that goes by I realize even more how much I draw on his wisdom and his inner strength and his drive to be the best in order to navigate my own life, and how much I wish that he were still here now that I realize how valuable and important the presence of a father is in our lives.  Our fathers fulfill the roles of mentor, teacher, confidant, critic, and roadmap.  They are who taught us what it means to be a man.  That is so important to sons, who need a role model who shows them how to treat people and how to respond to situations, and to daughters, who rely on their fathers to show them how a man is to treat a woman. 

It is such a great responsibility, to model for your children the person that you would have them emulate, but don’t worry.  They learn from your mistakes too.  As fathers, we have to ensure that we learn from our mistakes too.  We also need to teach them how to admit to your mistakes and take responsibility for the consequences. 

Happy Father’s Day, and may we use this day to honor the blessing that a father is to our lives and for us fathers to reflect on the honor and duty of fatherhood.  God bless.

Posted in Political

Hellbent On Change

What are we giving up in our press to be more globally compatible?  Our national Identity, for one.  The world has become a very unfriendly place in the past couple of decades, and we seem to be following suit.  We no longer stand on the principles that made our nation great.  People used to immigrate to the United States as a place of opportunity and dreams.  We stood as a shining example to the rest of the world of what they could achieve through the freedom to pursue those dreams, and a place where those dreams could be realized. 

Now, if you achieve success, you are vilified as one of the greedy capitalists who climb to success on the backs of those less visionary.  Rather than the love of money being the root of all evil, it has become success is the root of all evil. 

We are now a smorgasbord of competing values that will not mesh, like mismatched cogs which clash and jam and cause the national machine to be constantly stuck in reverse, tearing apart the foundations that carried us to a place of influence and the power to make positive change in an often negative world.

We just elected our first president of African descent, and what is his response?  To tear apart the very system that allowed that historic event.  The man who was swept into office is now hellbent upon destroying our standing in the world, as he stands with tyrants and despots against his own country and it’s allies.  We are losing, on an accelerated time line, everything that our country once stood for as the radicals and hate-mongers have risen to power. 

This isn’t the kind of change that America called for, and though the majority of our citizens seem to be realizing what they are doing, it may be too late to stop it.  The juggernaut is on the tracks with a full head of steam, and who knows how far it will go? 

The will of the people no longer seems to matter, only the will of the people in charge.