It’s Been A Minute……..

IMG_1363It’s been a minute since I’ve really had a chance to actually write. My life has changed drastically since my last post. I’ve gone through a divorce. It wasn’t an ugly one, it just left me in a place of asking Why? The only thing she told me was, “I don’t love you anymore. It’s taken me 5 years to come to this conclusion and I want a divorce.” That really threw me for a loop. Yeah, we had our problems, but I never stepped out of my marriage; meaning I’ve never lusted/thought about, had sex (in any form), or attempted to get emotionally involved with another woman. That’s what I always told myself and I lived up to it. When I got married, I wanted to it to be it. I don’t believe in divorce. I believe that if she would have opened up to me, I’m sure we could have made it work. I assume that she was tired of making it work.

One big reason I wanted my marriage to work was my parents divorced when they reached 8 years. My father used to hit my mother and talk/have sex with another woman. That’s why I wanted my marriage to work. Things started to change towards the end of 2013. I did everything I could during the first part of 2014 to make it work. Suggested taking marriage classes and/or talking to a Minister. She didn’t want anyone on the outside knowing what was going on between us. After doing everything I could, I gave her the divorce she wanted. Before I signed those papers I made it very clear that it was her that wanted this divorce. Now we are working together to raise our 2 beautiful girls. I can say that since we now divorced she seems to be a little happier. I mentioned to her that it was good to actually see her smile and her happy. I have moved past the fact that it will never work with her again. One reason is because I have it set in my mind that I wouldn’t consider a relationship again. I really don’t want to go through those same problems all over again. I am happy and don’t want to get into another relationship at this time. I don’t want go through that getting to know another person, at least not right now. Grantham University Logo

I started my quest to further my education. I am attending Grantham University to get an Associates in Computer Science. Right now I am 44% complete. This is a big step in my life. To some, an Associate’s degree isn’t that spectacular, but taking small steps is better than not taking the step at all. My classes so far have been okay. I just completed my 1 semester. Classes for my second semester start on March 11th. I will be taking English Composition I and College Algebra. I’ve already completed American Government I, Intro to Computer Applications, and a class required by the University called Student Success. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t intimidated by my next set of classes. I’m looking forward with just starting those classes.

2014 SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia
The SEC Championship Game Final Score. Player of the Game: Blake Sims. Amari Cooper broke some SEC & Alabama records during this game.

In November of 2014 I won 2 tickets to attend the SEC Championship in Atlanta, Georgia. It was an awesome experience. When they first told me that I had won, I thought someone was playing with me or it was some type scam to get my credit card information. I finally realized it was real when they sent me a Dr. Pepper link to confirm that I really won. Other than that, I’m a student and a busy father. I decided not to coach this year, because I wanted to support my girls and give them all my attention. We will see how this goes this year. If I want to coach next year, it will be based on how this year works out. I need to get back in a groove to start writing again. I don’t want to force it, because I don’t want the blog to seem “fake.”

My Alabama Crimson Tide didn’t win the big dance this year, but it’s all good. Blake Sims did an awesome job leading that offense. It also helps to have one of the best receivers in College Football. Coach Nick Saban and Coach Lane Kiffin are 2 different coaches and have a different philosophy, but he jelled right in with the Alabama Coaching Staff. I’m looking forward to next season because I know that a lot of things are going to be changed and the team will have the right focus. Until the next post………#ROLLDAMNTIDE!

2014 SEC Championship Game in The Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia
Entrance to The College Football Hall of Fame
2014 SEC Championship Game at The Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia
Alabama Crimson Tide Runningbacks and Wide Receivers warming up.
2014 SEC Championship Game at The Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia
Alabama Crimson Tide “Millionaire” Marching Band during Pre-game.
2014 SEC Championship Game at The Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia
The Alabama Crimson Tide Offense during the 2014 SEC Championship Game.

        

 

 

Eloquent Words from Benjamin Watson

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St. Louis native & New Orleans Saints TE Benjamin Watson composed this very well written statement and posted it to his Facebook page. In no way am I trying to take credit or trying to take away from Mr. Watson has already expressed. I felt the need to share it with you guys.

There is so much turmoil going on in St. Louis county and he addressed this issue from his point of view, how he sees his city and from a standpoint of possibly being in the position of Officer Darren Wilson. Mr. Watson very well written.

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If you haven’t seen this, here are his thoughts:
“At some point while I was playing or preparing to play Monday Night Football, the news broke about the Ferguson Decision. After trying to figure out how I felt, I decided to write it down. Here are my thoughts:

I’M ANGRY because the stories of injustice that have been passed down for generations seem to be continuing before our very eyes.

I’M FRUSTRATED, because pop culture, music and movies glorify these types of police citizen altercations and promote an invincible attitude that continues to get young men killed in real life, away from safety movie sets and music studios.

I’M FEARFUL because in the back of my mind I know that although I’m a law abiding citizen I could still be looked upon as a “threat” to those who don’t know me. So I will continue to have to go the extra mile to earn the benefit of the doubt.

I’M EMBARRASSED because the looting, violent protests, and law breaking only confirm, and in the minds of many, validate, the stereotypes and thus the inferior treatment.

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I’M SAD, because another young life was lost from his family, the racial divide has widened, a community is in shambles, accusations, insensitivity hurt and hatred are boiling over, and we may never know the truth about what happened that day.

I’M SYMPATHETIC, because I wasn’t there so I don’t know exactly what happened. Maybe Darren Wilson acted within his rights and duty as an officer of the law and killed Michael Brown in self defense like any of us would in the circumstance. Now he has to fear the backlash against himself and his loved ones when he was only doing his job. What a horrible thing to endure. OR maybe he provoked Michael and ignited the series of events that led to him eventually murdering the young man to prove a point.

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I’M OFFENDED, because of the insulting comments I’ve seen that are not only insensitive but dismissive to the painful experiences of others.

I’M CONFUSED, because I don’t know why it’s so hard to obey a policeman. You will not win!!! And I don’t know why some policeman abuse their power. Power is a responsibility, not a weapon to brandish and lord over the populace.

I’M INTROSPECTIVE, because sometimes I want to take “our” side without looking at the facts in situations like these. Sometimes I feel like it’s us against them. Sometimes I’m just as prejudiced as people I point fingers at. And that’s not right. How can I look at white skin and make assumptions but not want assumptions made about me? That’s not right.

I’M HOPELESS, because I’ve lived long enough to expect things like this to continue to happen. I’m not surprised and at some point my little children are going to inherit the weight of being a minority and all that it entails.

I’M HOPEFUL, because I know that while we still have race issues in America, we enjoy a much different normal than those of our parents and grandparents. I see it in my personal relationships with teammates, friends and mentors. And it’s a beautiful thing.

I’M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn.

BUT I’M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through the his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that’s capable of looking past the outward and seeing what’s truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It’s the Gospel. So, finally, I’M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope.”

Here is the link to his Facebook page so you don’t think I’m plagiarizing or stealing his thoughts. https://m.facebook.com/BenjaminWatsonOfficial?fref=nf&_rdr

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College Football Playoff

College Football Playoff Trophy

This year, the College Football Playoff Committee have caused this season to be an emotional roller coaster to a lot of fans. You never know where any specific University will end up due to the inconsistency of the inaugural College Football Playoff Committee. Each week the criteria for a team to stay in the Top 4 Playoff Spots changes. Nothing has remained the same. They have no transparency or concrete facts as to why they have placed certain teams in each spot.

During the BCS Era, everyone complained about it, but I am willing to bet that due to the headache the committee has caused, the return of the system would be a welcomed site. Was the BCS system perfect, NO, but it was a lot better than what the committee has come up with. Yes, the BCS and individuals working with it, favored certain conferences over others, but it was easier to deal with than what the committee vomits each week. I know a lot of you are asking yourself, “Why in the world is he complaining, Alabama is #1.” I’m not complaining, but do you actually think it’s fair for an undefeated FSU team be placed at the #3 spot over a one loss Alabama and Oregon? Does that make any logical sense? You would think that because FSU is undefeated, no matter how they won their games, they would hold that Top spot with no questions asked, but it’s far from that way. The committee seems to forget that a win is a win is a win. Whether it be by 1 point or 30.

There wasn’t a real concrete ranking until October 15. Yes, the committee said that they were not using or taking into account the AP Top 25, Coaches Poll, etc., but that’s not true. Their first honest ranking didn’t happen until October. Here is what they have based their rankings on: Game control, Body of work, Top 25 wins and what their opponent was ranked when they played said opponent. You’re looking at that and saying how it is not fair? The criteria they are basing each team upon is fine. Each of the topics were for a specific week; not all the criteria was used at the same time. Example: This week they were taking into account what a team was ranked when they played their opponent. So if you played Ohio State at the beginning of the season and they were ranked #4 and now they are ranked #6 that takes away from your argument to stay in one of the Top 4 spots. Should that matter, NO, because when you played them, they were ranked in the Top 4, that win should hold the same weight when you beat them all the way until the completion of the season.

The current system needs to be revamped. I know that a lot of fans are giving the committee the benefit of the doubt, because this is the first year. They have a lot of bugs and deficiencies to work out before the end of this season and the start of next season. I have a friend that came up with an awesome idea to fix this broken system. I agree with this outline. Here it is:
This system will consist of the Top 8 Conferences in College Football. The FBS Power 5 Conferences would have automatic bids. The remaining 3 slots to finish out the 8 would be selected from the remaining FBS conferences based on their Conference Power Index which will be based on the schedules of the teams in those respective conferences as well as records of the respective Conference Champions. The three teams that meet this criteria would make up spots 6, 7 and 8.
• In order for this to work out, each conference would have to be adjusted to have 12 teams. (Add or take away as needed)
• Teams would have to play 10 Conference Games (this would eliminate a lot of the out of conference play; mainly for the teams that like to play tune-up games instead of playing within their respective conference).
• Game 11 would be the Conference Championship Game.
• Game 12 would be a lottery draw of conference champions to play each other. This would be considered Bracket 1. This Bracket would consist of 8 Conference Champions.
• Game 12 (Bracket 2) would be the winners from Bracket 1, which will consist of the 4 winners from Bracket 1.
• The winners of Bracket 2, the two winners, would then play for the National Championship.

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Of course, it wouldn’t suit everyone, but this is a whole lot better than what is currently going on with the committee of “intelligent” individuals. I hope for the sake of all college football fans that the committee works out the bugs before the end of the season. Next year, we shouldn’t have many headaches such as this year. If you feel that you can come up with a better option, I challenge you to do so. We all have complaints and will complain, but won’t provide a possible solution. Instead they would rather complain with the rest of the crowd.

Executive Order for Immigration Reform?

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I’ll do my best to keep this short for those that don’t like to talk politics. The President of the United States (POTUS) is planning to sign an Executive Order in regards to Immigration. As usual, this is my opinion and mine alone.

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Honestly I feel that the POTUS is overstepping his boundaries. Why? Because he isn’t even giving the incoming Republican majority, in the Senate and The House of Representatives, a chance to even propose legislation. He says that he wouldn’t have signed the order if Congress could pass a bill. Congress has been slow to act on approving ANY bill, so he, the POTUS, feels he needs to use his power to sign executive orders to handle this immigration issue.

This may sound ridiculous, but in some ways I agree with both sides; meaning, I agree with the POTUS on telling congress to stop sitting on their hands and pass a bill, but that’s where it stops. I think he should have given the incoming majority a chance to do something. Would the incoming majority propose legislation regarding the matter? Honestly, I believe they could, but would it be in a timely manner? No. I believe the POTUS would have eventually signed an executive order anyway. I say that because this option has been on the table for a while.

We, the backbone of the country, have no say so on any issue. The individuals we elect to represent us are not and refuse to listen to the voices of the its people. They push their own agendas and ignore our voices. Basically, our opinions don’t matter. Additionally, what is going to happen to the immigrants that have done the right thing and are on the right track to become U.S. Citizens? Are they going to be moved to the back of the line? Signing this order is going to really complicate things.

I prepared a more in depth post regarding this issue, mainly talking about the POTUS’s stance on immigration. Pretty much it talked about how he felt about immigration before he was elected and where he stands now. If you ever get a chance I suggest that you read the presidents best selling book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the America Dream, publication date: October 17, 2006, ISBN 978-0-307-23769-9. You would be very surprised on his stance.

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Role Reversal. Does it make it right?

This entire country is on eggshells waiting for the release of the verdict regarding whether to indict Officer Darren Wilson. I’ve already expressed my feelings toward this situation. I refuse to take sides with either party. From the facts that I gathered, both parties were in the wrong in one way or another.

I’m not going to compose another post regarding the above listed situation, but what I will talk about is a situation that happened in Akron, Ohio and isn’t getting a fraction of the media attention as what happened in Ferguson. Justin Winebrenner, 32, an off-duty police officer, who just so happened to be white was shot and killed by, Kenan Ivery, 35, a black man. Currently, Mr. Ivery is hospitalized due to injuries he sustained from a K9. You know what’s not going on in Akron? Rioting or even peaceful protesting.

I won’t sit here and say that it’s not a possibility that it could happen, but what’s the difference? Does it make it different because the roles were reversed? It shouldn’t. This country’s moral compass is all jacked up. I have no idea what else to even say about this. It amazes me that when the roles are reversed, nothing is done. We have to do better. The thing is, we have the ability to do better. Will anything change? Honestly, no. This country will continue to feed off of the use of the race card.

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MICHAEL BROWN PROTESTERS TARGETING HOSPITALS

Originally posted on Arlin Report:

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I have read the target list the Michael Brown protesters,  agitators made public.   I realize that intimidation is a tactic often used by terrorists groups.  That is what they are becoming or have become.  Maybe they can still determine that by how they present themselves in the coming days.   I don’t have confidence they will show much dignity however, and apparently neither does our Governor.

Protesters stated weeks ago if Darren Wilson was not arrested, rioting and looting to follow would be unlike anything seen in St. Louis, without any regards to the officer’s innocence or guilt.  Recently, the protesters have stated “looting and violence can not be ruled out; that violence and looting is a tool for those without a voice.”  So, that being said these disturbance agitators can be labeled as riot organizers.  Protesting is one thing, anything beyond that with the “tools” they intend to…

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Holiday Season

With the holidays around the corner, Americans are starting to feel generous. What has always puzzled me is we have 365 days a year to do it, but we wait until the holidays. I will admit that I am guilty of this as well.

On more than one occasion I have tried to organize a donation system to give to the less fortunate; however, due to my celebrity status being “mediocre” I can’t seem to get the support I need, so I end up giving out of my own pocket. During this year I made it point to go out of my way to do something for someone less fortunes that I am. It could be something as small as buying a meal.

I feel It shouldn’t take a special season of the year for us to think of someone else. I promise you, Karma will lookout for you.