Why we’d be in the Guinness Book, in 6 words

stormtrooper beach
photo credit: Pawel Maryanov Left via photopin (license)

I coulda been in the Guinness book.

GAD GRAPHICNo, really. My plan: To coach soccer for 24 hours straight. Twenty-four one-hour sessions, with kids signed up around the clock. (I’d get college kids to fill the overnight hours.) One boy on my team wanted to camp out and participate in as many hours as possible.

It never happened.

We’d planned it as a fundraiser for a teammate who’d been diagnosed with leukemia. The Guinness folks said if it was tied to a charity, it wouldn’t count. And that’s okay. That teammate? He went into remission.

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On a day with my girls at the auto fair, it kind of felt like dad was there

stormtrooper car neon black
photo credit: DocChewbacca Back to the past via photopin (license)

All my dad needed was a glimpse of a tail light.

He could tell you the make, model and year, just from that. Just from a red glow, a glance of it. That’s when cars had cool names, like De Soto and Falcon and GTO. Not Prius and Altima and Cruze. Those aren’t even words, let alone cars.

Dad and I picked out a 1962 Buick Skylark for my first real car.

Maddie was white with red interior. Full-bodied, four-door, hardtop sedan. Sleek lines. We installed glass-pack mufflers with dual exhaust and low-profile tires with sweet chrome rims. She shined brighter than Grace Kelly, Debbie Boone and Brooke Shields.

Combined.

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Go ask daddy about grubbing, marathoning and butterflies. Gosh-darn butterflies

stormtrooper food chilies
photo credit: Reiterlied Seaside Lunch via photopin (license)

One surprising element of my time on the sideline is that I (mostly) stop thinking about food for the short term.

GAD GRAPHICWho am I kidding? I’m thinking about it then, too. Noon kickoffs are the worst, because that’s when I should be having lunch. And a big late breakfast and a big late lunch are the only remedy for a situation like that.

The girls’ first question got me thinking about snack food and even meal food on the playing field.

Although I don’t recommend the Cobb salad while playing catcher or the macaroni tuna casserole while playing midfield (ew – or any time), here are some ideas I dreamed up for food that ought to be kosher for a coach.

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How to teach your kids to take a compliment

stormtrooper golf pga championship

I keep a drawer of beat-up books that I like to open a lot.

One’s a book of coaches’ quotes. I gain perspective from my sideline squad. Another’s a book of lists for parents. I’ve scribbled in that a lot. Another is a pocket-sized, tattered book called “Father to Daughter.” It’s a collection of advice fathers have given.

Occasionally, I’ll grab one of the sentences in it and expound upon it.

My conversation with a T-mobile customer service rep that turned to fatherhood inspired this. I’d love to hear your take on the topic, from the perspective of a parent or having been that daughter with your father.

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A gray-beard’s advice to a first-time dad. Also, happy birthday, Camdyn

cam vols
Camdyn made this photo illustration for me for a post I wrote about late University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summit.

I’m all out of little kids.

Officially. Today Camdyn turns 13. It’s only one milestone in nature’s reminders that I ain’t as good as I once was (but I’m as good once as I ever was.) This means that yes – just as the moon moved into position a coupla weeks ago) there’s a cosmic convergence.

I’m dad of three teenage girls.

Let that sink in a minute. No, not for effect. Just so I can rest my eyes for a minute. I feel like I’m having a time reaching the caffeine quotient to make up for the sleep deprivation. My calculations had been spot on before *removes glasses and wipes them*

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For the faith and agony ahead, I’m actually grateful

stormtrooper unicorn fairy garden

My soccer boys must face a team next week that we angered greatly last week.

We did nothing wrong. Outside of beating them. After the match, they sat on the turf in various stages of disbelief. An older, more experienced team tested and topped by a band of upstarts. It’s a sweet feeling to pull out a win like this.

And now, we must go to their place.

Moments that shape us aren’t limited to wins. Moments of discomfort and fatigue and dismay contribute to that ever-changing DNA of self. No matter what happens next week, the team we will convene as the next day will in part become a result of this match.

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5 random smartphone photos, part VIII

stormtrooper chocolate love valentines

Write time has come at a premium lately.

It’s 1:26 a.m. and I ought to be sawing logs. I just watched my Denver Broncos eek out a 24-21 victory against the Los Angeles Chargers. Also, the Colorado Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks and I had nachos.

Can you blame a boy for not being able to sleep?

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a random-smartphone-pictures post. These are fun because I pick the photos at random. They force me to remember the day, the moment, and tell the story in a snapshot of text.

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Why you never NEED to have an Ezekiel Elliott

football

I did it.

I chose troubled Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott in my fantasy football draft. It’s not just any draft. It’s a league of four. That’s me and my daughters. The league winner gets a trip with me to an NFL game.

Madison said she didn’t want Elliott and she didn’t want Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.

The reasons were different. Luck is hurt. Elliott is in a battle against a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. They say he abused a woman he says wasn’t dating (not that it matters) but that evidence says otherwise.

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Go ask daddy about sports stuff, pie construction and song evolution

stormtrooper car back seat decal
photo credit: kennethkonica IMG_8255 via photopin (license)

I’ve spent a lifetime of halves on a sideline.

GAD GRAPHICMore than that, if you count the days as an athlete. Back then I warmed the bench. I had a uniform, though. I loved sport. I sucked at it. But I loved it. I romanticized it and I relished it. And I could do it just well enough to make the team. Not an atom more.

I tend to stand on the field a bit, which is illegal.

I’m short. I have to do it. I get out of the way when the ball comes my way. Unless I don’t. One day I was slow to retreat. The ref gave me a look. The opposing coach hopped and pointed fingers like I’d just stolen his fortune cookie.

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Who we’d go back in time to hug, in 6 words

stormtrooper darth vader hug
photo credit: Kalexanderson The imperial reunion (square version) via photopin (license)

Behold, the hug.

6 words graphicIs anything in the universe as potentially awkward and comforting as the hug? Humans (or many mammals) have the innate ability to express love or like, congratulations or condolences by simply opening their arms and pressing together their bodies.

I compile a monthly post called 6 Words. Ernest Hemingway inspired it when he said any story can be told in six words. I ask bloggers, friends, strangers, and a few strange blogger friends to respond to a prompt.

Here’s the prompt for August:

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