Sept. 23, 2010
By Matt Winkeljohn
Today seems like a good day to assemble the first “mail bag” in Sting Daily’s short history as several readers have written to firstname.lastname@example.org with comments relating to Tech athletics and even my life’s travails. Everybody likes a good peek at a real-life circus, I reckon.
First . . . if you only take one piece of advice that I give, GET TO Bobby Dodd STADIUM EARLY for Saturday’s game against N.C. State, and remember, it’s “White Out” on The Flats. Dress accordingly.
It will be a good idea to schedule some extra time into your plans for a few reasons:
# Traffic could be a zoo. There are several events going on downtown. We wouldn’t have these problems if Tech weren’t in a happening locale.
# The game is starting a little earlier, at 12:01, than most “noon” starts.
# This is a BAD GAME TO SHOW UP FASHIONABLY LATE. It’s going to be televised on ESPN, and as soon as Lee Corso and the Gameday gang wrap-up their early schtick from Boise, Idaho, they’re kicking to Bobby Dodd Stadium. Who wants cameras panning a half-full stadium? I thought so.
# Many steps have been taken to be sure that ingress will be much smoother Saturday than for the season opener at S.C. State, including moving up the band’s pre-game performance. But why take chances?
Without further adieu, letters (sans editing) . . .
After the Jackets bounced up off the canvas in the wake of an appalling loss at underdog Kansas, I invoked some writings of Rosabeth Moss Kanter, who suggests that sometimes failure can be good for “winners,” [although it doesn’t work for me] . . .
One of your best articles I’ve read over the years, pulling in relevant business quotes. On another note ref CPJ’s “show me, don’t tell me,” he may be the next Florence Nightingale. She once stated …
“One’s feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results.”
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910; English pioneer of modern nursing
Keep up the good work!!!
DIRK A. PALMER
In one of my post-scripts last week, I laid out some of the hectic shuttle service work my wife and I had done with our three kids . . .
Enjoyed your article. You’ll never regret the time you spend with your kids. Father is the highest calling given to us. — Wayne King
More from that precinct . . . I thoroughly enjoyed and said a hearty “AMEN” to your Sting Daily article about responding to adversity. Your observation about adversity and an individual’s response to it is a dynamic I have observed many times in all facets of my life. Without exception, every gifted surgeon I have known knows how to put an adverse outcome in perspective.
They face it, “dissect” it, if you will, and know what they will do when faced with the same situation again. The great ones will tell you adversity has made them better. As a parent, I have watched a lot of practices, games and performances. It is so apparent that the gifted athletes and artists that can “shake it off” and get ready for the next play, scene, or song are the ones that end up succeeding.
I, also, have three children, the youngest now 17 and I will tell you that I look back now and wonder how my husband and I did it all. Here is my advice; cherish every moment, make good memories, don’t let others pressure you to take it too seriously, and pray fervently!
Edit: Thank you for the thoughtful thoughts.
I wrote a short story last week about the Tech baseball team winning the ACC sportsmanship award after banding together to raise more than $2,000 in cash for paralyzed former UGA baseball player Chance Veazey by hitting up tailgaters before last fall’s football game against the Dogs. I’m not familiar with a 90-foot mound at any level so I assume this is a typo, and the CAPS were not my idea, but anyway . . .
THIS STORY IS AMAZING. I MAYBE HAD A BASEBALL CAREER AHEAD OF ME. WHEN I WAS 14 YOA, I WAS CLOCKED AT 83 MPH FROM A 90 FT MOUND TRACKED BY SCOUTS. IN 1999 I WAS IN A CAR WRECK WITH MY DAD. I HAD A SPINAL CORD COMPRESSION. THE TRAUMA CAUSED ME TO HAVE TOURETTES SYNDROME WHICH WENT INTO FULL FORCE TICS. I SUFFERED THAT FOR 9 YEARS WITH TICS GOING DIFFERENT PLACES IN MY BODY. NEEDLESS TO SAY A CAREER IN BASEBALL WAS OUT. I EVEN BROKE MY RIBS WHEN I WAS IN THE FULL TRUNK TICS. IN MAY OF 2007, I OWNED MY OWN HOUSE AND WAS A SUPERVISOR AT THE PORT AUTHORITY AND JERKED MY NECK AND IT SEVERED THE MAIN ARTERY GOING TO THE BRAIN AND CAUSED A BRAIN STEM STROKE. I AM STILL 3 1/2 YEARS LATER IN A POWER CHAIR WITH SOME ISSUES BUT I JUST GOT BACK FROM COLONGE, GERMANY, FROM HAVING A STEM CELL TRANSPLANT. I HAVE ONLY BEEN BACK FOR 2 WEEKS AND I AM STILL IN THE RECOVERING STAGE. I ALSO PLAN ON STARTING SHEPHERD’S TBI THERAPY AS SOON AS THEY CALL ME. THIS WILL BE MY 3RD TIME GOING, 1 TIME AS INPATIENT FOR 4 MONTHS AND THE OTHER TIME COMMUTING BACK AND FORTH FROM MACON TO ATLANTA 2 DAYS A WEEK FOR 5 MONTHS. I AM 28 YEARS OLD NOW. EVEN THOUGH I KNOW I DON’T HAVE A CAREER IN BASEBALL I STILL LOVE THE GAME AND ME AND MY MOM GO TO THE BRAVES AS OFTEN AS WE CAN. THANKS FOR YOUR TIME.
After shedding light on how kicker Scott Blair’s instituted some relaxation techniques to his approach, this Prairie Home Companion-style piece dropped in the mailbox . . .
Wondering why you made no mention of Scott’s talent in one of the most challenging athletic events on the Flats – the “tire pull.”
I thought it beyond coincidence when the Russ Chandler PA urged a “Scott Blair” to report to the field as quickly as possible one balmy May eve. We had seen this well muscled young man in a white T-shirt walk by us just before the first pitch but having never seen Scott out of uniform, perhaps a time or two sans helmet from section 201-02, we had no idea it was he.
Most of these contestants no matter their age rarely are what could be called svelte. Slow Saturday night on the Flats? Blair approached the tire from the side grabbing it from behind, took a deep breath like a weight lifter preparing to hoist and then in one smooth motion somersaulted backwards flinging it over his head. It rolled somewhere between 180-90 ft, apparently not the record I recall but one of the best we ever saw. It was only then that we realized the “well muscled” person was THE Scott Blair.
I have also noticed one other propensity about Blair you failed to mention. Paul Johnson has more than once complained about the lack of depth of his kickoffs despite good distance and accuracy on field goals. Most college teams, many pro-teams, cover kick-offs with ten men…meaning the kicker runs (rather sneaks) off the field picking up the tee as he departs.
But Blair is often in the mix, helping bring down the ball carrier. Sometimes no one else is between him and the goal at midfield or worse. I’d be the first to admit that this fact may have more to do with Johnson’s teams covering poorly if it weren’t for Blair’s tackling technique – and he doesn’t miss a chance to get a good lick in either.
If Johnson ever decides to switch kickers he better be sure his choice can consistently put it through the end zone. Otherwise, as Paul would say, “eleven is more than ten.”
Edit: If Blair’s teammates get wind of their kicker being described as ripped, some might describe the likely fall-out as one of the seven signs. #######
There was a rambling entry last week that included my mention of seeing a smoking Volkswagen Scirocco for the first time in years, on campus, complete with what looked like a bullet hole in the windshield. I don’t make this stuff up; I’m just a reflector . . .
A couple of articles back you wrote a story that started out about a Volkswagen Scirroco. Well, that’s my friend’s car and I want to point out an error in your description of the vehicle. His car is gold, (one could even say GT gold), and not brown. My friend Casey graduated from Tech as an ID and graduated EE. Anyhow, thought it was funny to see the story. Everything else you said was dead on. Thanks buddy.
Enercon Services, Inc.
This one is actually symptomatic. We’ve received several like this . . .
Start sending this (Sting Daily) to me.
To which I say . . .
Go to ramblinwreck.com. Go to the FANZONE pull-down menu and click-on “Subscribe to Sting Daily”.
It’s free. Tell all your friends, and sign up your Bulldog employees without telling them first.
p.s. Hit that email@example.com mailbox. I welcome random thoughts in addition to Tech-centric vibes. Maybe we can cook up a screenplay.