It’s been too long since I have been actively writing on here.   About a month ago, my uncle, Randy Skinner passed away.   For the last few years he was with us,  he would send out a column entitled “This Monday”.   It summarized the current sporting  landscape and connected what current athletes today were doing with what others had done in the past.  Sometimes he would focus on current events only, and he had a wonderful, unique style.   From a correspondence between my brother and uncle 2009:

WRITTEN DURING THE U.S. OPEN :

TOO BAD, TY COBB. NO ONE REALLY LIKED YOU ANYWAY. NOW A COMELY LASS FROM MARIETTA, GEORGIA, HAS TAKEN SOLE POSSESSION OF YOUR NICKMANE AND STOLEN THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF TENNIS FANS AND NON-TENNIS FANS ALIKE. 17 YEAR OLD MELANIE OUDIN (OOH-DAN) HAS STORMED THROUGH THE WOMEN’S SIDE OF THE U. S. TENNIS OPEN IN A FASHION NOT SEEN SINCE WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN MARCHED THOUGH GEORGIA. SHE’S GETTING EVEN FOR THAT DASTARDLY YANKEE ACT WITH FOUR STRAIGHT WINS AGAINST HIGHER SEEDS IN THE BIG APPLE AT ASHE STADIUM. THE REAL GEORGIA PEACH.

AS SHE AWAITS TOMORROW NIGHT’S QUARTERFINAL MATCH, SHE HAS JOINED THE LIKES OF SERENA WILLIAMS, LINDSEY DAVENPORT, TRACY AUSTIN, AND CHRIS EVERT AS U.S. FEMALE 17 YEAR OLDS WHO HAVE HAVE ACCOMPLISED THIS FEAT. RANKED AS THE 225 TH  FEMALE PLAYER IN THE WORLD RANKINGS  LAST YEAR, SHE WAS # 75 GOING INTO THIS FORTNIGHT FREE-FOR-ALL. 8 WOMENS’ TOP SEEDS HAVE ALREADY BEEN PLANTED AT THIS EVENT, INCLUDING #1 DINARA SAFINA AND #3 VENUS WILLIAMS, AND ON LABOR DAY OUDIN, THE PINK AND YELLOW SHOD WITH THE WORD BELIEVE ETCHED IN HER SOLES, OUTED 13 TH SEED NADIA PETROVA. PRIOR TO THAT, # 26 MARIA SHARAPOVA, #4 ELENA DEMENTIEVA AND A 1ST ROUNDER,  ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA, ALL RUSSKIES, FELL PREY TO THE FEMALE WUNDERKIND. IF YOU SAY SHE IS PARTIAL TO RUSSIANS, YOU’RE RIGHT. NOT SINCE JAMES BOND HAS THERE BEEN  A CONQUEST OF RED LADIES IN SUCH CONSECUTIVE AND CONVINCING FASHION.

If you’re curious about the all caps, it was easier for my uncle to read what he wrote.  Never once did he shout in this column (unless it was to call curses on the Evil Empire in New York, Derek Jeter excepted).

Anyway, my goal is to put one This Tuesday column out weekly,  in honor of my uncle.  While it won’t cover all sports per se,  it will focus on Big XII and Big Ten football, some devotions and inspirational pieces and any other events on my mind.   There will probably be a few Texas Ranger updates as well.   The column will appear on Tuesdays only because for me, Mondays  belonged to Uncle Ranny.  I always looked forward to getting his email column.   And that’s how it will stay.   So may he rest in peace and I hope I can capture just a tiny bit of what made my Uncle’s column magical.  God bless and happy reading!

 

A TCU friend of mine posted this to his Facebook page recently. I think this is something my late Uncle Ranny Skinner would have appreciated. Without further adieu, here is what I call The Matt Skains Guide for Football Fans:

Things to get straight before football season:
– If you do the wave, you are terrible.
– If your college team loses 4 games, they suck. No exceptions.
– Running up the score – particularly in college – is part of the game.
– Don’t root for your division or conference. It’s sad. Unless you are directly benefiting from it being terrible, then tongue in cheek is acceptable.
- It’s perfectly ok to complain about a player/coaching messing up your fantasy team/bet but you have a 1 week time limit on it. Exception for egregious fantasy championship game situations.
- If you correctly predict an outcome, it’s worth bragging about, but you must submit to ridicule w/o rebuttal when you are wrong.
- The refs always go undefeated. Deal with it. Also, 99.9% of the time they are not out to get your team – your team just played poorly.

Upon finishing this part Matt poses this statement and question, “I think that’s it for now. I miss anything?”

So did he miss anything?  All points are up for debate.  Have a good weekend and happy football season!

Growing up in Texas, most of the time on major highways speed limits average around 65 miles per hour.  Most people go way over that, but it decreases travel time and helps clear congestion on the free way.   In the Midwest, particularly in Minnesota, the speed limits on the highways are 55.   With the way people drive around here, everybody seems to go at least ten miles an hour below the speed limit.   One can imagine how elated I was to read this in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press this morning:

On more of Minnesota’s two-lane state highways, motorists could soon be free to drive above 55 — legally.

As part of an expansive budget bill signed into law last week, state lawmakers nudged transportation officials to boost the speed limit to 60 miles per hour on lane miles where it can “reasonably and safely” be done. By 2019, traffic engineers must examine every mile of road with a 55 mph limit and determine if it is prudent to go higher. …

“The fact we’re studying the roads does not mean you can jump to the conclusion that all roads will be raised to 60 miles per hour,” said Peter Buchen, assistant state traffic engineer at the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

But the agency has been moving in that direction. In 2005, the department bumped the limit to 60 mph on 791 miles of two-lane highways and added another 750 miles last year. Buchen said those were prime candidates — straight, wide-open stretches with clear sight lines and low incidence of crashes. He said limits on hillier, curvier highways probably won’t budge.

Well, at least all the roads that run in a straight line will increase.    The project is going to extend into 2019 according to the article, but driving will become much less stressful for me each subsequent year.

Source: Bakst, B. (2014, May 25). Minnesota lawmakers demand higher speed limits on more miles. . Retrieved May 27, 2014, from http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_25834474/minnesota-lawmakers-demand-higher-speed-limits-more-miles

From the official TCU Athletics site:

OKLAHOMA CITY - Freshman Tyler Alexander pitched his first career complete game to help lead No. 12 TCU to its first-ever Big 12 title with a 7-1 victory over No. 7 Oklahoma State Sunday afternoon.

For TCU, it claims its seventh tournament crown under the guidance of head coach Jim Schlossnagle. The Horned Frogs won the title outright as members of Conference USA in 2004 and shared the title with Tulane in 2005. As members of the Mountain West, TCU won the title in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010. …

 TCU will return to Fort Worth and host the NCAA Fort Worth Regional beginning Friday. The team will learn who will be coming to TCU Monday morning when the field of 64 is released on ESPNU at 11 a.m. 

Very proud of the Horned Frogs and can’t wait to see how they do Friday!

Source: Champions! TCU Claims Big 12 Title Sunday – TCU Horned Frogs Official Athletic Site. (2014, May 25). Champions! TCU Claims Big 12 Title Sunday – TCU Horned Frogs Official Athletic Site. Retrieved May 25, 2014, from http://www.gofrogs.com/sports/m-basebl/recaps/052514aad.html

Sportswriter and Robertson Family co-author Mark Schlabach believes the college football play-off will expand in the future.   Here’s what he has to say:

As college football embarks on its first season with a four-team playoff — a seismic change I never thought I’d see in my lifetime — fans from coast to coast are already wondering when it will expand. If college football is to follow the example set by other sports, it seems only a matter of time before the four-team playoff grows to eight or 12 or 16.

“It’s never going to stay at four,” said one FBS head coach. “It’s going to expand because they’ll never keep everybody happy.”

How soon can we expect such growth to occur?  … When coaches, players and fans get a taste of the excitement and drama of a four-team playoff, they’ll want more (Schlabach, 2014).

Schlabach also points out in the article that while the BCS had its flaws he believes it got it right most of the time and that the  increased revenue from ticket sales and TV contracts might speed up expanding the play-off from four teams to eight.  He writes:

The four-team playoff is expected to generate $290 million more in revenue than the BCS did. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that seven playoff games in an eight-team field would generate more TV revenue than three playoff games in a four-team field. (Schlabach, 2014)

I don’t know if the play-offs will expand anytime soon and money probably was the decisive issue for creating a play-off in college football (much to my chagrin), but I will say I agree one hundred percent with this statement by Schlabach(italics mine), “…[W]ith 76 teams playing in 39 bowl games this coming season, the ‘bowl experience’ isn’t what it used to be. It’s like beating Tennessee or Texas — everybody’s doing it (Schlabach, 2014).”

Source:
Schlabach, M. (2014, May 23). Playoff expansion is inevitable. ESPN. Retrieved May 25, 2014, from http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10969476/not-matter-when-college-football-playoff-expand

 

For about a week, I was forced off-line by a simple mistake: I received a new debit card in the mail failing to update the card for my domain host. Needless to say, they took down my site for what looks to be a week before I figured out I was off-line.

What’s the moral of the story? Ensure you always double check and triple check with a company who has your account to ensure your information is accurate. Otherwise, you might be placed off-line in many things you wish to do and instead now don’t get to.

Have a great Sunday!

Today I would like to present a few headlines I read on Gene Veith’s blog and elswhere. Enjoy!

China is soon to boast the world’s highest population of Christians.

Great Britain has granted a Lutheran synod its own Coat of Arms (Dr. Veith says it even makes for a great tattoo!).

US Troops have been sent to Eastern Europe for joint NATO exercises.

 

From the Friends of Westingfield Website:           Crest                                                                                         Rearing white horse: a reference to the White Horse Inn, a former Cambridge pub where the works of Martin Luther were read and discussed             Bridge:                                                                              refers to Cambridge and also to the many connections Westfield House enjoys as a theological educational institution                                             Westfield House Arms and CrestArms  Cross:         central motif, red and white chequered pattern reflects the Arms of Fitzwilliam College, where Lutheran students associated with Westfield House have pursued Cambridge degrees                            Book:                                                                             alludes to Holy Scriptures, the Lutheran Confessions and educational learning and knowledge           Luther rose:                                                                       symbolises the Christian Faith; central cross on a red heart emphasises that the proclamation of Christ crucified is the heart of Christians the Church; white rose symbolises joy, peace and comfort belonging to the heart touched by Christ; field of heavenly blue points to future joy; gold ring symbolises undending blessedness we share in the presence of God                                                                    Motto Fidelis et verax – Faithful and True.                Dr Mumme explains, “As the Lord is, so too do the faculty and staff of Westfield House hope to be found in our vocation of providing theological education to our students”

 

 

 

What is it called when you have no motivation?

Why is it that it takes so much less time time to tear something down than to build it back up?

What is the point of a college education?

 

When does ESPN update DL eligibility in Fantasy Baseball?! Profar should be on there…

 

Will the Texas Rangers have a good start to the season?

Just a few questions. Night!