Howdy, Welcome to Aggieland!!!

This weekend, my brother and I made a trip to Texas to see Mississippi State play Texas A&M. During the 6 years I lived in Fort Worth, I had invitations to go to a game at A&M but it never worked out. So, finally I was able to make it there and see my team play on Kyle Field for the first time since 1913.

We stayed with friends in Mansfield in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. While there we made eating Texas style our goal. We had a great steak and some of the best stuffed Jalapeños at Texas Land & Cattle Steakhouse a couple of blocks from the Cowboys new AT&T Stadium in Arlington and enjoyed some fantastic Tex/Mex at Cantina Laredo in downtown Fort Worth.

Saturday morning we left early to begin our journey to Aggieland. No trip south from Dallas or Fort Worth on I-35 is complete without stopping in West, Texas at the Little Czech Bakery for the best sausage rolls and fruit kolaches in the world.

As we made it to Waco and got on Texas Highway 6, we began to see the typical Texas farm land filled with Aggies:

barn

Once we arrived in College Station, we immediately began sensing the hospitality of the Aggies. I must’ve been greeted a thousand times with, “Howdy, Welcome to Aggieland!”howdy

We then made our way to the tailgating area specifically made for big rig smokers. There must have been over 100 big rig home made grill/smoker setups.smoker

There, we spent some time with the TexasTiders who have ties to A&M and Bama. Notice how they have 4 flags at their tailgate: An Aggie flag, Bama flag, upside down MSU flag, and of course, the state of Texas flag.

flags

As we made our way around campus, we learned about many of the A&M traditions. The Memorial Student Center is quite different from most campus student centers. Remember, A&M is still considered partially a military school. No one is allowed to walk on the grass around the Memorial Student Center; all hats must be removed once entering the Student Center; and it’s a very quiet and solemn atmosphere inside where plaques, flags, and numerous memorials recognize the Aggies that have served our country in the military. 

We had a great time. And it was good to see our team play well. Though we didn’t win, I was proud of our team for not quitting.

manure friends

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We Are Going to Brazil!!!

After a great run this year, USA continues to climb in the rankings. Why is this important? It’s important for seeding in the World Cup next summer. Right now, USA would be a 2 seed. It would be amazing to somehow gain a 1 seed. Here’s the latest FIFA World Rankings and a few of my thoughts:

1 – Spain (your possession style is over)

2 – Argentina (my favorite for the World Cup)

3 – Germany (my #1 vote)

4 – Italy (much improved from years past; they’re actually scoring goals & fun to watch)

5 – Columbia (too high for them)

6 – Belgium (well deserved)

7 – Uruguay (a little too high)

8 – Brazil (has to make them angry to be behind 3 other South American countries)

9 – Netherlands (meh)

10 – Croatia (scary team)

11 – Portugal (it’s gonna take more than Ronaldo to get me excited about this team)

12 – Greece (Pistachios for everyone)

13 – USA (needs to finish strong even though we’ve already qualified)

14 – Switzerland (really?)

15 – Russia (always a tough opponent)

16 – Chile (Who are these South American teams beating?)

17 – England (Always prepared to disappoint)

18 – Bosnia-Herzegovina (good team)

19 – Ivory Coast (Finally, an African team)

20 – Ecuador (what is this? A South American poll)

21 – Mexico (still too high; they’re in shambles)

22 – Sweden (they have Ibrahimovic)

23 – Denmark (boring 1-0 wins)

24 – Ghana (lumbering into the top 25)

25 – France (Oh, how the strong have fallen!)

 

Other thoughts:

-No Asians in the top 25

-South Americans with a strong showing

-Germany is changing the way soccer is played. They showed the world how to beat the Spanish style of play.

-Are things shaping up due to some traditional powers being weak, for Messi to lead Argentina to greatness?

-USA have lots still to prove and Klinsmann is the man to do it.

2013 Gold Cup Champs

USA takes the 2013 Gold Cup trophy. The Boys breezed through most of the tournament. The only real tests were versus Costa Rica in group play & in the final versus Panama. But even in beating both of those teams 1-0, the US dominated possession and creating scoring opportunities. During the tournament a few players made a good case for being on the top US squad. In my opinion, they were: Landon Donovan, Eddie Johnson, Matt Besler, Clarence Goodson, DeMarcus Beasley, Mix Diskerud, Chris Wondolowski, Stuart Holden, Kyle Bekerman & Brek Shea. Klinsmann has some difficult decision to make between now and next summer’s World Cup in Brazil. But that’s a good thing. Congrats to the Boys!

The Purpose Of Family

We know artists by their most important creations: Michelangelo by the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Beethoven by his “Fifth Symphony,” George Lucas by the Star Wars saga. Each masterpiece reveals something of its creator.

The same is true of God. We catch a glimpse of the Artist at work by reading the first two chapters of Genesis. He spoke galaxies into existence, formed the mountains, filled the oceans, and planted forests with a magnificent range of color and variety. His playful side is evident in creatures such as humming birds, ostriches and skunks. But the masterpiece that reveals more about God than anything else shows up when God made something called “family” (Genesis 1:27-28).

Two essential elements of family — marriage and parenthood — reveal God’s character like nothing else in Creation. The love between a husband and wife provides a glimpse of Christ’s passionate devotion to us as His bride. In the same way, the ups and downs of parenthood offer a compelling picture of God’s tenderness and patience toward us as His children.

And family does more than reflect God’s character. It provides a safe place where children can experience God’s love (through their parents) and learn how to love other people.

Even Christ himself was born within the context of a family. “God in the flesh” submitted to an earthly mom and dad to model what it means to honor parents and to benefit from their loving direction. It was within the nurturing care of His earthly family that “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52).

Our children need to know that God has a special purpose for placing them within a family. Help your family explore this truth and lead them into a deeper appreciation for the family God has given them.

Gold Cup 2013

USA doesn’t have their A team for this Gold Cup. But I expect nothing less than a Gold Cup championship. It’s an opportunity for a lot of guys to show their quality to Klinsmann. We should get everyone’s best in this tournament. There’s no need for anyone to hold back on this team. It’s time to get it done.

Last week the boys had a great warm up match vs Guatemala. Here’s the highlights:

Tonight, USA faces Belize to begin group play in the Gold Cup. Go USA!

Here’s a tribute to a game I was at & I’m in this video on the front row holding up Old Glory: