This week’s Friday Five was written on Wednesday, and set to post on Friday. For those calendar wizards out there, that means if anything significant happens/happened on Thursday it’s getting the shaft this week. If it is super-major-significant, I’ll give it a shout-out on next week’s Friday Five. So, for this week:
#5 – Top prospect Grant Desme retires from baseball to enter the priesthood
Grant Desme, a top prospect outfielder for the Oakland A’s, decided to end his baseball career to pursue a higher, and significantly lower paying, calling as a priest. In case you were wondering, this isn’t a case of a guy trying his hand at baseball, being unsuccessful at it, and deciding to go elsewhere. Desme was the sole player in all of minor league baseball to post a 30-30 season in 2009, and he was named the MVP of the Arizona Fall League. There’s a good chance that he would have been invited to Spring Training, and even an outside chance that he would have broken camp with the team and traveled back to Oakland. Desme battled some injuries early on in his minor league career that gave him plenty of time to think about his faith. As a pastor, I am always pleased to hear when people decide to pursue their calling into ministry. As a pastor who played baseball from 4th to 8th grade and dominated at church/seminary league softball, I’m a little jealous that he got to play professionally for a little while before entering the ministry.
#4 – Kelly Kulick becomes the first woman to win a PBA tournament
My initial reaction to hearing this story was, “Why do women need to be in the PBA when there is an LPBA… or something of the sort?” Now that I have started this, I realize that most people may not even know what the PBA is – it’s the Professional Bowler’s Association. It’s like the PGA for bowlers. Anyhoo! After bowling for several years myself, I know that there is no reason why a female cannot beat a male at bowling. Yes, it is a bit of a power sport, but there is a lot of skill that is involved, and skill is not gender-biased. However, what sealed this as a top story for me is 1) she is the first woman to win a PBA event, and 2) she totally dominated her competition. The final score was 265-195. She could have thrown gutters for the last two frames and probably have won.
#3 – UK gets second #1 ranking of the decade… and then loses to South Carolina
Last week, I mentioned that Lexington, KY was probably going into some sort of hysteria because UK was going to move into the top spot in the college basketball rankings. Indeed, from what I saw on Facebook from my Lexington friends, that is what happened. On Monday, UK was announced at the new #1 in men’s college basketball, and on Tuesday, they went out and stunk it up against an inferior foe in South Carolina (who was 11-8 before the game). I’m pretty sure some people in Lexington bars were ready for Calipari to get fired so Pitino could come back to UK and they could once again, rise to glory… and fall very quickly.
#2 – Arenas and Crittendon suspended for remainder of the NBA season
Apparently Gilbert Arenas and Javarias Crittendon forgot that in 1997 the NBA team in Washington, D.C. changed their name from the Bullets to the Wizards, and in doing so, decided to bring what they thought was the team mascot to the locker room. As a result, the Wizards lose two players for the season, and fall further into mediocrity.
#1 – NFC/AFC Championship Games
The Super Bowl has been decided, and I can’t help but take some credit for it. Here’s how it played out: Katie and I were at Wal-Mart doing some grocery shopping when the AFC game between the Colts and Jets started. We get out to the car and I found the game on the radio, score tied at 0-0. The Colts drive down the field and kick a field goal to go up 3-0. I get annoyed at the radio commercial and shut it off. I turn it back on and Feely is kicking an extra point to put the Jets up 7-3. Colts get another field goal to make it 7-6. We get home and I start taking everything in the house and putting the groceries away. I come back, and the Jets are up 17-6. Hmmm. So, I finally sit down to watch the game. Feely misses a field goal, and a couple plays later, Manning hits Collie for a 16 yard touchdown. I’m feeling pretty good about a 17-13 deficit going into the half. From that point on, Manning cuts up the Jets top-ranked defense, and the Colts stop the Jets top-ranked running game. Colts win 30-17. You’re welcome.
Later that night, Katie and I go downstairs to watch television. The Saints and Vikings are tied up at 28, and the Vikings have driven down to field goal range with less than 2 minutes left. It’s 3rd down, and I am thinking that the Vikings are probably going to run it to the middle of the field and kick a field goal to win it as time expires. Then I see that it’s a passing play and I say to my lovely wife, “About the only chance the Saints have now is for Brett Favre to do something stupid, get intercepted and have it returned for a touchdown.” As soon as I am done saying that, Favre does something stupid and the Saints intercept the ball. They don’t return it for a touchdown, but they do get the ball in overtime and end up kicking a field goal to send them to the Super Bowl in Miami. Saints win 31-28. You’re welcome.