If you want to learn to defend your Christian faith, read articles from one of my professors at Louisville Bible College, Dr. Peter Rasor II.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Look, I am an Indiana University fan. Any arrogance that we had should have been tempered after the Kelvin Sampson era and the first three years of the Tom Crean era. IU fans were used to winning, competing and getting to the NCAA tournament. Post Sampson, it just didn't happen, in fact, it was real bad. Unfortunately, the humility gained from those three or four years was lost at the end of the season in 2012 and has carried over into 2013. I think most IU fans aren't like the ones online who spew hatred to anything that isn't IU and, really, towards IU when they don't win, but they do exist.
The University of Louisville got some humility during the end of the Denny Crum era and the beginning of the Rick Pitino tenure. To be honest, as an IU fan, I believe U of L fans are still relatively humble. You get one or two people who seem to think they are on the team when it is successful, but every fan base has those. I really believe that U of L fans have kept their humility, but I am not a UK fan so my perspective is probably a little skewed.
It's time for the University of Kentucky fans to face a little humility. The arrogance and cockiness of UK fans is widely known and understood even by many UK fans. Why are they this way? I don't know, maybe it is because they have an overall winning record against most programs, maybe it is because they have 8 national championships, they have more wins than any other program in the history of the NCAA and seem to get top recruiting classes each year to the Lexington campus. It would make even the most humble of fans a little, um...confident.
But this year, some of the chickens have come home to roost. Coach John Calipari and his recruting of "one and done" players finally didn't pay off. After having an incredible run his first few years, it culminated last season with a national championship. However, Coach Calipari hasn't endeared himself to too many rival fans (that's not his job) and many of the UK faithful have bought into his confidence.
The "Kentucky Effect", "non-traditional program" and other quotes have rubbed many people wrong, including fans that really don't care one way or the other. What it does is it creates an atmosphere among the fan base of "bigger than the game" and people who cannot wait for them to fail. So this season it has been hard for the average UK fan, and not so much on those waiting for failure. Their earned trip to the N.I.T. was embarrassing to many UK fans and brought pure bliss to non UK fans and then with their loss in the first round to Robert Morris, well, unfortunately, many are euphoric over it.
But here's the difference, UK has a monster recruiting class coming in next season and are already being picked to start the season ranked in the Top 5....so much for learning realistic expectations; for freshmen. Who knows? Maybe they do get #9 next season, but I can bet that the seeds will be sown for more discord when they fail again, but all fan bases do that and have to eat crow from time to time.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Monday, March 18, 2013
Ok, Saturday's semi state was really held in Seymour, but it sure felt like Clark County. I have been to a semi-state two other times where two schools located close to each other have been in the same gym. In 2005, Loogootee and Washington were at the Seymour semi-state. There was so much black and gold there it almost made a Henryville coach feel welcome. Two former sectional rivals (in the one class era at Washington) cheered wildly for each other. It didn't hurt that both won and headed to state the following week. Then in 2008 when Borden and New Albany were in the Southport semi-state, there was so much black and red that you would have thought one school took over most of the gym. In fact, I heard that day from the team New Albany was playing, "how did so many New Albany fans get in?".
But Saturday was different. It was two teams that use red and white in their color scheme and in the same county. I know there were many people there supporting both teams that were not from Jeffersonville or Borden. I know that there might have even been a former Henryville coach wearing a Borden regional champion t-shirt, and was cheering loudly when Borden's Jaylen McCoy stole the ball at the end of their game with University sealing Borden's first trip to the state finals.
Class basketball sucks? (sorry Myra Powell) That's what the people who are against class basketball say. No, really, they say it a lot that is until their favorite local team is playing deep into the tourney, then they display situational values on the subject, but I guess we all do that in different situations? Saturday, you couldn't make me believe the previous statement about class basketball. The entire town of Borden plus some was there to cheer for their small school heroes and then combine them with the Jeffersonville fans, and it was an awesome sight to behold.
Former Floyd Central Athletic Director and lifelong Borden resident Les Wright, who I interviewed at halftime of the Borden game for WBIS, claimed that he is still a proponent of one class basketball, but he claimed that you can't help to see and know how good that Saturday was for the small community of Borden. I couldn't agree more Les, I couldn't agree more.
My only desire would have been to see Borden's fans cheer as madly for Jeffersonville as vice-versa. They did cheer and some of them did stand at one point trying to urge on their Clark county friends, but it didn't seem as passionate as the earlier game. Maybe Borden's fans remember the 50 point beating one of their best teams took to Jeffersonville in the sectional in 1993 when Jeff was on their way to their own state championship. However, I think Borden's fans had used up so much of their energy and emotion watching their own team's close victory that they were exhausted in every sense of the word. I was, and I am not from Borden or as emotionally tied to their team. But at the end of the day, it was Cathedral's team that defeated what seemed like a fragmented Jeff team, and not the lack of cohesiveness in the stands.
No matter what happened, and no matter if you agree with what I have written or not, it was nice to have been in Lloyd Scott gym on Saturday. It was nice to see small school Borden and big school Jeffersonville all dressed in white and cheering on each other's teams. It was nice to see Borden and Jeffersonville's teams and coaching staffs experiencing a great season and having fun, I just wish Banker's Life Fieldhouse could have seen the same thing this Saturday.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Let's be honest. Ethics is not for wimps. It's not easy being a good person.
It's not easy to be honest when it might be costly, to play fair when others cheat or to keep inconvenient promises.
It's not easy to stand up for our beliefs and still respect differing viewpoints.
It's not easy to control powerful impulses, to be accountable for our attitudes and actions, to tackle unpleasant tasks or to sacrifice the now for later.
It's not easy to bear criticism and learn from it without getting angry, to take advice or to admit error.
It's not easy to really feel genuine remorse and apologize sincerely or to accept an apology graciously and truly forgive.
It's not easy to stop feeling like a victim, to resist cynicism and to make the best of every situation.
It's not easy to be consistently kind, to think of others first, to judge generously, to give the benefit of the doubt.
It's not easy to be grateful or to give without concern for reward or gratitude.
It's not easy to fail and still keep trying, to learn from failure, to risk failing again, to startt over, to lose with grace or to be glad for the success of another.
It's not easy to avoid excuses and rationalizations or to resist temptations.
No, being a person of character is not easy.
That's why it's such a lofty and an admirable achievement.
by Michael Josephson, founder of Character Counts
Monday, March 11, 2013
One of the greatest books I have read on leadership was the book Lead...for God's Sake by Todd Gongwer. That's a book I wrote a review for and had published here in the News and Tribune a few months ago. For those of you who haven't gone out and bought it or read it, I will explain the basis of leadership in that book. There is still a great story that goes along with this, so if you haven't picked it up, still do it. But this is somewhat of a disclaimer...I am giving the secrets of author Todd Gongwer's success in the next few paragraphs.
To be a great leader, you must reflect, recognize and keep changing and improving. It is the "why?" question about your job and life. Why do you do what you do? But before you can answer that, you must answer why you exist in the first place. Why do you exist? What are your strenghs? Finally, why do you do what you do? What are the reasons you coach or lead outside of sports? Is it to win championships, to have greater self-glory? Is it to help others? What are your priorities in your personal life and in your work life?
Once you have begun to understand those questions (which the next paragraph explains how that comes into focus), you will then understand better how to lead others. Most people are influenced by negative and positive consequences when it comes to being led. In the book, Gongwer calls it the hatchet and the treasure; the hatchet being negative and treasure being positive. Many people are motivated by one and/or the other and it is okay to use these to motivate, but in using these things what is the purpose?
Leadership is equal to your influence plus your responsibility. But to be the best you can be, you must understand your purpose which comes from your heart. How do you find that purpose, how do you know what is in your heart? According to Gongwer, you must use prayer (I used to think prayer was overrated, I now understand how much it can change you), you must embrace your position (usually not a problem for leaders, but must do so for right reasons), you must love people, you must set your priorities (in all things in life), and then live passionately which will occur because of your new found knowledge of your purpose. Once you have understood your purpose, you will develop a will to lead for the right reasons, you will understand that love is an important part of leadership, yes, I just wrote "love" for being an effective leader, which will then create a passion in you to do what you do.
If you get your heart "right" in understanding your purpose most everything else will fall into place. Does that mean you will win championships each year? No. Does it mean you will enjoy success each season on the court? No. What it guarantess is that you will become the type of leader that creates an atmosphere in which individuals can be as good as they can be. That may be winning regional or semi state, or it might be losing every game, but learning life lessons with you as a guide in helping. Getting your heart right can not only affect so many people in positive ways, it ultimately helps you to live the life you are called to live.
Ultimately, if you win, but you are alone, you are not a success as a leader. If you win, but are angry or not happy much of the time, you are not a success as a leader. If you have former players or workers asking you to weddings and to baptisms, you are a success as a leader. If you have a healthy family at home while leading, you are a successful leader. If you are respected, feared (as a parent is feared by a child), or seen as a positive leader by many, you are a successful leader. Now, I realize that not everyone will agree with my or Gongwer's assessments on leadership, and that is for you to recognize on your own. You will have to reflect on what we have written about and decide if it meets up with what you are doing, but you will reflect on what you are doing. And Doing that is a step in the right direction.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
The disease of me = the defeat of us
6 Danger Signals of the Disease of Me
1. Chronic feelings of under appreciation - too much focus on oneself.
2. Paranoia over being cheated out of one's rightful share.
3. Leadership vacuum resulting from formation of cliques and rivalries.
4. Feelings of frustration even when the team performs successfully.
5. Personal effort mustered soley to outshine one's teammate.
6. Resentment of the competence of another, to refuse his or her contribution.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
From a poem read at the Henryville Tornado Remembrance Day this past March 2nd:
A man is as great as the dreams he dreams,
As great as the love he bears,
As great as the values he redeems,
And happiness he shares.
A man is as great as the thoughts he thinks,
As the worth he has attained,
As the fountain at which his spirit drinks,
And the insight he has gained.
A man is as great as the truth he speaks,
As great as the help he gives,
As great as the destiny he seeks,
As great as the life he lives.
Monday, March 4, 2013
I am a small school guy. I appreciate the talents and efforts of larger schools because they usually are the elite teams not only in this area, but in the state, but my affection is for the smaller schools. I get them. Maybe it is because I grew up in a small school town, and have only taught/coached at small schools, and I won't apologize for it. I get the every day battles of growing up being the under dog, thinking like an under dog, and competing as an under dog.
In my opinion, it is the small schools and their fans that have always kept Hoosier Hysteria alive. Yes, in this area, Jeffersonville, New Albany, and Floyd Central won a bulk of the sectionals and regionals during the one class era, but if you ever went to the Seymour Regional, there were many, many people from small schools sitting in the endzones...way up top.
And since the inception of class basketball, it is usually, not always, the smaller schools that are still passionate about the tournament. You won't go to any small school areas and hear them complaining about the success the local team is having in the class tournament. You might a couple years later when that euphoria has worn off, but not while in the midst of winning. There are a few times I have gone to Seymour (8,000 seats) for the 1A semi-state and the place was practically sold out. That's schools with combined enrollments of, maybe, 500 students, selling out an 8,000 seat gym. When the local small school wins, fans from many generations come out to support that team, and it catches the attention of the average basketball fan.
But you don't have to go to that semi-state to see small schools in action. Just attend the smallest school sectional around here at Borden. Borden has had a nice run the last few years, but the sectional has still been competitive. Every team in that sectional has felt that with the right draw, they could possibly have some success in the post season. And no team has just been a giant of a team that no one felt that they couldn't beat them. And, to me, that's what class basketball is about that most every single team feels that most every single year they have a chance of some sort of success in the post season.
And Borden does such a great job of running their sectional. Not only are the games great on the court, but off the court things are done in a first class manner thanks to A.D. Toby Cheatham, his assistant Amanda Cavins, principal Lisa Nale and numerous volunteers. The facilities are first class with nice locker rooms, concessions on both sides of the gym and a nice hospitality room where they stream the games on the court into their group presenation room. You can eat, socialize and get back a little later because you know exactly when the game starts and what is going on while the games are being played. Trust me, it is usually such a good game that the last place you want to stay is in the hospitality room. You want to experience true Hoosier Hysteria.
Borden has won that sectional (back to back) and you will now watch as the entire town follows them onto the regional at Loogootee (I'd be nowhere else Saturday, Lord willing). And if you have the time and money, I would go to that regional as well because you will have four 1A teams playing in a 5,000 seat gym, filled, to move onto the semi-state.
Every class has its uniqueness, its lure and draw (the highest crowd at state is usually for the 4A game because it's usually the best two teams in the state despite class), but for me it's the small schools where most of the players playing are 2nd, 3rd, and maybe, just maybe 4th generation players of their local team. All the while 5th and 6th generations have their faces painted, cheering, and longing for the day they get to put on that uniform.