In Pursuit of the Cheap Ticket

A large part of my disposable income goes for the price of tickets for entertainment.  You can hardly go to the bathroom without a ticket anymore.  I’m heading to my grandson’s junior high football game today.  It’s hard to believe, but they charge admission to that event.  I’ll drive 45 minutes on terrible Missouri back roads and pay to see 13 and 14 year old boys either crunch smaller kids or get creamed by bigger kids.  Mound City should pay me to go to the game.

This weekend, I can’t wait to go to the movie Money Ball.  It’s based on a book about statistics and baseball; that’s right up my alley.  It does require a ticket to watch this sports movie.   It’s a nice chunk of change to watch a movie that will be on Netflix in a couple of months.  Why don’t I have the patience wait and see it for almost free?  It is called disposable income.  I have to spend it. Continue reading

Hope Springs Eternal

“A straggling few got up to go in deep despair.  The rest clung to the HOPE THAT SPRINGS ETERNAL in the human breast.  They thought, “If only Casey could get a whack at that; we’d put even money with Casey at the bat.”

That’s the second verse from my favorite poem, Casey at the Bat.  It contains the phrase I use the most when talking about the prospects of our upcoming basketball season, HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL.  Not that I’m trying to down play how good our team might be in 2011-2012.  It’s just better for a head coach to low-ball expectations.  It’s good for job security. Continue reading

It Happens Every Fall

Have you seen the movie, It Happens Every Spring?  Ray Milland stars in the romantic comedy.  It’s not exactly like today’s chick-flics, but it is a story about young romance in the spring of 1949.  A college scientist invents a potion that helps a baseball repel wood.  So he can make enough money to marry the college president’s daughter, the scientist joins the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team as a pitcher.  No one can hit his “spitball because of his invention.”  Baseball is the constant that Happens Every Spring.

The arrival of college freshmen is what happens every fall.  There are other constants that occur with the arrival of the freshmen.  I had the help of two for women’s basketball players and a couple of student workers as I picked up my parking pass.  I wish I had the workers’ names because they were very helpful in my search of what you can expect every fall at Northwest Missouri State University. Continue reading

Are We Compatible?

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting really tired of all the dating services that are advertised on television.  If they just ran those false ads during soap operas or the late news, I could probably handle it.  It’s when they invade sports programming that really starts to annoy me.

I don’t remember the early dating services, but E-Harmony drives me nuts.  Some old guy comes on and tells you he checks 27 or 29 compatibility points.  The result is shown on the screen when the perfect couples are standing side by side with smirks on their faces.  I’ll bet they’re all actors that just met. Continue reading

The Big One

Is it global warming?  Do the Incas or the Aztec calendars have anything to do with it?  You have to admit, the weather has been crazy.  It was never crazier than what happened at about 7:15 Thursday night.

I was mowing my lawn and finished up at 7:00.  I never noticed the black clouds building in the northwest because my house was blocking the horizon.  Sam, my 11 year old son, was at the neighbors, bothering them about their X-Box.  When I put the mower in the garage, I saw it for the first time.  It was a huge, black, rolling cloud that had a little red tinge in the middle of it.

Sam needed to be home before this thing hit.  He had taken his cell phone that he had begged Santa for last Christmas (I still believe).  Of course, it was on vibrate and he didn’t answer.  I had to walk the 200 yards or so up my neighbor’s lane to retrieve my son.  Just as we were getting to our front door of our home, it hit; The Big One! Continue reading

I Don’t Care

It’s the last week of summer break.  My family is back from vacation.  Michele, Sam and I spent six days and five nights in Arlington, TX.  Arlington and the Dallas area had 41 straight days of highs in triple digits, but the Texas Ranger baseball team was just as hot.  We watched five games, four wins for the Rangers and two of them were last inning, walk-off wins.  My grandson, Jacob, got back the same night from spending a month with his dad in Oregon.

The final weekend of the summer we spent at home in Maryville.  In the early evening, I asked Sam and Jacob what they wanted to eat.  Both responded, “I don’t care.”  They said they were thirsty and wanted pop.  I asked what kind of pop and they again said, “I don’t care.” Continue reading


When I was a kid, a singer by the name of Connie Francis had a hit song called V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N.  Now Connie weighs about 300 pounds and her old song makes me look very old when I claim to memorize every word of it.  However, it does describe the excitement my son, Sam, has this week as we wait for the beginning of our family vacation.

Before Sam came along 11 years ago, Michele, my wife, and I planned a few great summer getaways.  Probably the best was the year we spend a few days at the Blackhills in South Dakota and a few more days at Yellowstone National Park.  We spend a three or four nights in Jackson Hole, WY, near the park.  Outside of leaving seven days of laundry at a Jackson Hole motel, it was a great time. Continue reading

If I Ever Get Back

Little League baseball has all the elements of the famous Clint Eastwood spaghetti western, “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”.  The GOOD is the coming together of several towns’ Little Leaguers as they try to jell into a good baseball squad.  After last July’s Little League experience, it was neat to see the friendships formed by the players with much different addresses and backgrounds.  My son, Sam, when seeing one of his all-star teammates at a baseball game, didn’t hesitate to give a hug.  That team really bonded.  Last July was a month that hopefully the 9- and 10-year-old players will forever remember.

You see, little things really don’t matter much as time marches on.  Sam began last July playing about half of the innings of each game.  After the team reached the state tournament, he was stacked with two other players and rarely saw more than one inning and one at bat.  None of that mattered.  It taught Sam to be a good teammate. He helped the team try to rally for wins and suffered as much as anyone when the team failed to advance.  The most important part of last July was the memories and friendships.  It’s all Good! Continue reading

The Travels of Northwest Little League

If you have read any of my blogs, you’ll know that I coach my son’s Little League team. It is one of four teams from Maryville in the 14-team Northwest Missouri Little League area. The baseball season runs from May to the end of June. Then 13 lucky players are picked to play in the Little League postseason. Most people know about the Little League World Series that is broadcast on ESPN in August. Those Little Leaguers are 12- and 13-year-olds. My son, Sam, is 10-years-old. Their division plays only up to the state championship level. Sam was lucky enough to be picked as one of the 13 All-Stars. Four came from Maryville, including Zach Patton, Keyton Pettlon, and Harrison Kerchner. The other nine came from Stanberry (one), Worth County (three), Tri-County (one), Ravenwood (two), and Albany (two). They were all great kids and the parents had a fantastic three weeks watching their sons bond and compete together. As usual, though, some memorable events took place that I am forced to blog about. I’ll try to keep the personal stuff to a minimum. Continue reading

The magic of perfection

About two years ago, my assistant coach, Lori Hopkins, and I came out of a meeting with our Sports Information Director.  Lori, my devoted and loyal assistant, was mocking me.  Our Sports Information Director had informed us that his office would no longer print media guides.  He wanted to spend more time blogging.  Lori said, “I read Sherri Coale’s blogs all the time.  Why don’t’ you blog Stein?”  Sherri is the women’s coach at Oklahoma.

The funny thing is I really like to write.  I have no idea how other people view my scribbling.  I figured I could tell a story, hope it was semi-interesting, put it on the website where it would die from the being ignored by readers of women’s basketball website.  I’m not sure, but I think a few of you actually sit down and read the blogs.  For that I thank you and present to you Blog #100. Continue reading