One True God

Here’s a song that’s touched me this week. Great Song by Mark Harris. I saw Mark perform it this morning at the Mississippi Baptist Convention. No matter what’s going on, I’ve got a God that’s carrying me and still loves me. I’ve been studying Psalm 24 and this song makes me think about that passage.

I don’t have a God I can put on a stand
Or a God I hold in the palm of my hand
I have a God that’s holding me
And I don’t have a God that I can create
In the place I live with the money I make
I have a God, He made everything
So I don’t need a temporary man made deity
When I got the real thing
I got the real thing

He’s the Lord of all the earth
The maker of all things
He alone is the one true God
Kingdoms rise and fall
But even through it all
He remains
The one true God

I don’t have a thing that I got on my own
I don’t have a care that I carry alone
But I have a God who’s carrying me
I don’t have sin that He doesn’t forgive
And I don’t have a heart that is worthy of His
But I have a God who still loves me
So I don’t need a temporary man made deity
When I got the real thing
I got the real thing

Who is this King of Glory
The Lord strong and mighty
Who is this King of Glory
The Lord strong and mighty
Who is this King of Glory
Who is this King of Glory

Thank You “Gringos!!!”

Honduran fans in an absolutely frenzy

Honduran fans in an absolutely frenzy

In case you don’t know. The United States qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa by defeating Honduras on their turf 3-2 Saturday night. The U.S. came up with an equalizing goal in the 94th minute last night versus Costa Rica to tie the game and insure Honduras a place in the World Cup for the first time in 28 years. Needless to say, Honduras is very thankful to Jonathan Borstein (the US goal scorer) and the US for helping them get through. Please pardon my literal translation of the Honduran quotes from Spanish to English.

The president of Honduras, Roberto Micheletti, announced last night that today there will be a national holiday and thanked the “gringos” for providing “a visa for the World” to the selection of his country, although he has been removed from the country the last few months because of political pressure.

“Tomorrow (today), a holiday for everyone,” Micheletti proclaimed at a news conference in Tegucigalpa, which praised striker Carlos Pavon for “that goal by head,” which was scored against El Salvador to give the 1-0 triumph for Honduras in San Salvador.

This victory combined with the 2-2 draw between the U.S. and Costa Rica, a tying goal made by American Jonathan Bornstein, gave the South Africa 2010 World Cup ticket to Honduras.

Jonathan Bornstein & Robby Rogers Celebrate

Jonathan Bornstein & Robby Rogers Celebrate

“We are thrilled, grateful to God, to our players, our selection, with the coach wheels, with the fans who traveled to El Salvador, with everyone, and the ‘gringos’, which took away the visa (the staff) but we got the visa for the World Cup, “said Micheletti.

The president added, jokingly: “We will bring that little gringo (Bornstein) who scored that goal head, without a visa to come here to Honduras, we’re going to congratulate”.

“So with everyone happy, we are global, the second time in the democratic life of this country (since 1982) we achieved that goal so beautiful,” said Micheletti. “This is an example of desire, of love, which showed the boys on the field,” he added.

THANKS Jonathan Borstein, the man who headed the 2-2 draw with Costa Rica and gave us our second World Cup qualifying, is of Jewish descent and Mexican. Once he told ESPN in an interview that “I have experienced both cultures, sometimes I have belonged to that country. But what has not been noticed is that yesterday I Borstein catracho nationalized. 24 years old, was born in Torrance, California, a November 7, 1984. The whole country celebrated his goal! Carlos Pavon, the Honduran goal scorer said, “8 million Hondurans rose when he rose and nodded. He has no idea of what he did for our country Borstein.” “We’ll invite Bornstein to Honduras and give him a paid vacation in the Bay Islands,” he said on national television yesterday, the president of Honduras Roberto Michelleti. In 2006 he began training as a professional player. He was picked in the SuperDraft to Chivas. He was a striker in college, but developed into the left back for Chivas under Bob Bradley. On June 3, scored his first goal against FC Dallas, the team where he played the Honduran Ramon Nunez. That same year he was named rookie of the year, a winner.

IN U.S. SOCCER: His first appearance and goal with the U.S. Soccer Team was on January 20, 2007 against Denmark. Since then one of the people of Bradley, who was also in his debut as coach of USA. He premiered in qualifying against Guatemala and was part of the historic victory over Spain in the Confederations Cup.

Well, the truth is that this story is interesting because it made 8 million people in Honduras happy since the 94th minute score tied the game 2-2 yesterday. At the 94th minute, the US gave Honduras the World Cup.

Borstein w/ the Colors

Borstein w/ the Colors

Saint Palermo…Miracle Maker

Palermo celebrating the winning goal!

Palermo celebrating the winning goal!

Palermo does it again. Saving Argentina’s behind by scoring the game winner in the 94th minute against Peru. Will he do it again Wednesday in Uruguay? I hope so. I’ve so wanted to see him play in a World Cup. After missing 3 penalty kicks in the 1999 Copa America, Palermo hasn’t been asked to play for the national team in 10 years. Now is his time. The time I’ve been waiting for. USA qualified for South Africa today. Wouldn’t it be something if USA were a 2 seed in the group with Argentina in the World Cup?

Diego Maradona hailed Martin Palermo as a “miracle maker” after the veteran striker’s last-gasp goal against Peru gave Argentina a 2-1 win and renewed hope of qualifying directly for next year’s World Cup finals. “What more can you say about Martin?” said Maradona afterwards of a striker who has overcome two torn cruciate knee ligaments and a fractured right ankle, caused when a concrete wall collapsed on him when celebrating a goal for former club Villarreal. “At the interval I told him to go out and win the game, though we never imagined it would happen like this. It was yet another miracle by Saint Palermo.”

“Which of my goals was like the one he scored today? None of them. The goals I scored during my career were normal, it’s Palermo who’s the miracle-man,” continued El Pelusa. “He goes on the pitch and does incredible things. That’s why the fans were asking me to bring him on and they were right. Once he’s on people know something’s going to happen.”

Also keen to heap praise on Saturday night’s match-winner was Albiceleste captain Javier Mascherano: “If we’re honest, Martin saved all our skins. His story is like an unbelievable film, he’s got a gift and seems destined to pop up in situations like these.”

And does the Liverpool midfielder feel the Palermo story has enough mileage for a sequel? “Let’s hope that it doesn’t stop here and this happens again. Him doing it at the World Cup would be nice…”

Here’s the highlights from the Peru game:

El Loco…Martin Palermo

Martín Palermo by far is my favorite athlete in the world. I’ve followed his career for more than 10 years. Watching him score 3 times against Lanus in 1999 to bring Boca Juniors from behind to win, sold me on his skill and knack for scoring goals (See video above). Palermo is known for his celebrations after goals, and scoring some of the most spectacular goals ever like the one below.Who would have thought he could top his 52 meter goal in the 94th minute to beat Independiente a couple of years ago. But he did this past weekend with the goal in the video below. Maybe he can save Argentina and put them into the World Cup. Palermo scored 2 goals vs. Ghana last week in a friendly.They desperately need him to give a boost in qualifying as they have to have a win against Peru and Uruguay this week.

Connor’s 1st MSU Football Game

The Frontiersmen

The Frontiersmen

We, the Davis family, lived in Ft. Worth, Texas from Memorial Day 1998 to Memorial Day of 2004. We didn’t get to go to many MSU football games during that time. Fortunately there were a few times they came our way. On September 20, 2003, the Bulldogs played Houston in a monsoon. It rained as much that night during the game as it did before the LSU game a couple of weeks ago. It was our son’s first game. He was born May 25, 2002. So he was a little over a year old for his first game. We hung out with Jack Cristil, Jackie Sherrill, Bully, cheerleaders, and a large group of MSU fans before the game. Tonight we pulled out our scrapbook and looked at pictures, tickets, Beat Houston stickers, and other stuff from the game.

It was another night plagued by turnovers. We threw 5 interceptions and still only lost 42-35. Connor remembers the game (especially the Frontiersmen they have on their sidelines). Connor’s looking forward to seeing us play Houston again and is hoping we get revenge from the last game. Connor predicts we’re gonna win 28-17.

Here’s a little about the Cool Houston Tradition of The Frontiersmen: The Frontiersmen were established in 1948 as a result of a concentrated effort to promote more school spirit within the student body. The primary purpose was to support the University of Houston in any and all endeavors. This included support for the athletic department, Frontier Fiesta and academic success of the University. The original Frontiersmen were among the most dedicated and loyal students at the time. After many years of Frontiersmen history and service to the University, the Frontiersmen tradition lay dormant for quite some time. This tradition was officially revived in 1992. In the spring of 1993, the first Wranglers were installed into the Order and dusters were added to the attire. Until then, the Frontiersmen wore the attire similar to the original members. In the fall of 1994, the Frontiersmen began running the UH Flag across the field after each score at football games. In 1996, the Frontiersmen displayed the Texas Flag as well as the University of Houston flag at football games as a form of respect and obligation as the lone representative of the State of Texas in the newly formed Conference USA. The tradition has continued although other Texas Universities have joined Conference USA in recent years.

The Frontiersmen running the flag

The Frontiersmen running the flag

Another little weird tradition Texas school have is the hand signs. You can see the Frontiersmen in the first photo giving the sign. I’m glad we just ring cowbells.

Cougar Hand Sign: The Cougar Paw
In Texas, all of the major universities have adopted a hand sign which signifies to all other Texans where your loyalties lie. The Cougar Hand Sign is no different. Although the original hand sign was the “V” for Victory until 1965, events conspired and a new hand sign was adopted. The inaugural football game between University of Houston and University of Texas during the 1953 campaign witnessed the birth of a blood rivalry between the state’s two largest universities at that time. However, it also led to the adoption of another Cougar Hand Sign. During her transport from Houston to Austin, one of the fingers on Shasta’s paw was severed when the cage door was closed. As the University of Texas partisans and players caught wind of the accident, they mimicked the animal by bending their thumb over the ring finger against their palm. This gesture implied that the Cougars were invalids. The Cougars would go on to lose the game 28-7.

The cougar faithful, still mindful of the stinging defeat suffered 15 years earlier, never forgot the taunting that they received. The next time the two teams faced off (1968… a whole 15 years later), UH tied UT 20-20. At that point, the students thought there might be a bit of magic in that sign, and the hand sign was adopted replacing the “V”.

In 1976, the Cougars first football season in the Southwest Conference, the Coogs & Horns met for the third time ever. The Coogs put a beating on the Longhorns that they have yet to forget 30-0 (a.k.a.the “Dad’s Day Massacre”) in front of the largest crowd to assemble in Memorial Stadium at that time. That victory ended the Longhorns famed winning streak, and the embarrassment also signaled the end of legendary UT Coach Darryl K. Royal’s career. After that victory, the Cougar Hand Sign became firmly entrenched.

*Important Note: Only one hand is to be held aloft when making the Cougar Hand Sign.

The Cougar Paw

The Cougar Paw

Defending the Triple Option

Triple Option Wing Formation

Triple Option Wing Formation

Mississippi State plays Georgia Tech tomorrow. Because it’s so unusual to see an offense like there’s I thought I’d take a detailed look at it. Here’s a break down on stopping their triple option offense.

1) It’s just different from the beginning. The triple option is designed to take advantage of defenses by allowing the quarterback to make his reads during the play, not before. This has two important consequences. One is that you will rarely be in optimum position to stop the play. Because if you are, it means the opposing QB has failed to get the ball where it was supposed to be to take advantage of your location. Two, all of the presnap hoodoo in the world is basically useless. When you see Carl Torbush’s MSU defense standing stock still, don’t be too surprised.

2) It will get its yards. An extension of the “rarely in optimum position rule” is that sometimes there’s just not going to be anything you can do to stop this offense. It’s designed to allow an astute quarterback, borrowing an old baseball axiom,  to “run it where they ain’t.” Please do not hyperventilate when you see Dwyer and Roddy Jones break the occasional 15 yarder. The key is limiting the number of them. Holding Paul Johnson’s offense under 200 rushing yards is a solid accomplishment. Keep telling yourself that.

3) It will put the ball on the ground. Especially with a quarterback like Josh Nesbitt or Jaybo Shaw. The question is whether the defense can take advantage. They have fumbled the ball 10 times already this year, but only lost it 3 times. We have to get on the ball when it hits the ground.

4) Blitzing it is a bad, bad idea. The first instinct of fans seeing a team defend the option is that you should attack. This is usually the worst thing you can do. Why? Because blitzing puts you upfield and out of position. Remember, the option is calculated to roll downhill fast and force defenders to make decisions on the fly. There’s no quarterback scrambling aimlessly in the pocket. The offense will get to your personnel plenty fast enough. Blitz-heavy gameplans against the triple option mean that eventually somebody’s gonna run right past their assignment. And when you’re playing one-on-one assignment football, that means a touchdown. This is the one time we actually want Carl Torbush to dial it back.

5) The “A” and “B” gaps generally decide the ballgame. The first read the quarterback makes on most triple option running plays is whether or not to give the ball to his “A” back right up the middle on the option’s version of the fullback dive. If everything went according to the book in this offense, that play would be the offense. The line would drive the defensive tackles back and they would grind the opposition to a fine powder 5 yards at a time.

The only reason for the ball to ever move  laterally in this offense is for the inside gaps to be unavailable. Flushing things outside allows a fast defense to catch up to the option, and it creates the need for the QB to pitch the ball, and potentially put it on the ground (see number 3 above). This means that Kyle Love, Charles Burns, Josh Boyd, and Fletcher Cox will be the most important guys on the field Saturday. I’m not saying that’s a good or a bad thing. Just an existential reality to which you should accustom yourself. They will spend the day tackling the fullback on the dive whether he has the ball or not, and preventing Tech’s mobile offensive line from getting back to the linebackers. Watching our Defensive Tackles in the early going should give you a decent idea of how this game is going to go.

6) First down is the most important of all. If a decent triple option offense has 3rd and 4 or less, they will convert on a generous percentage of attempts. See Reality Number 2, above. The key to stopping this offense is to limit it to short gains on 1st down then play solid assignments on 2nd and 3rd. The triple option, like all offenses, will generally have trouble converting 3rd and 6 or longer. With the triple option you have the added problem that there’s a limited passing arsenal. The goal should be to get them to 3rd and 7, give up 4 on the play, then get the heck off the field. Like so many other things in life, this is much more easily said than done.

It’s very simple in theory. Just stay in your lanes, do your best to make the QB hold the ball, and make the initial tackle. If the defense is in the right place, they have an advantage. If they don’t crash on the QB and stop him from being able to pitch the ball, they have a HUGE advantage. But sound tackling is the most important. If our defense can do a solid job of bringing down the runner on initial contact, we will win. Plain and simple. We struggled with Auburn. Our tackling & assignments were horrible that game. The team just needs to play sound, smart assignment football in order to win. That is all.

Short yardage formation in the Power I

Short yardage formation in the Power I