So Let’s Talk Football

It’s almost that time of year again! In August and September I’m always eager to talk about football. By November, I’m sick of it. But! It’s August! I’m ready to talk about football! Yay!

So, out with the old and in with the new. Paul Johnson has arrived at Tech after the malaise of the last couple years of football and at the very least has got people talking. No one really knows what kind of team he will field this year, mostly because he is going to be introducing a lot of young talent (8 sophmores or freshman on offense and 7 on defense. Yikes.), but also because he’s bringing his vaunted triple option offense to Tech. What is the triple option?

The Triple Option
Well, there you go.

The offense has been the source of much conversation this offseason. How’s it going to work against fast defenses? Can you really move the ball and protect the quarterback without a tight end? Is the offense just smoke and mirrors? When someone in the press asked Johnson if the offense could work in the ACC, Johnson dryly responded “well, they [Tech] weren’t lighting up the scoreboard with their pro-style offense last year, were they?”

One thing is for sure, the offense is made for a quarterback with legs and Josh Nesbitt fits the bill, even if he hasn’t played in an option offense before. Now the question is does he have the instinct to know when to pitch and when to keep the ball? That’s the question on everyone’s mind. Hearing about fumbles in practice does nothing to ease the mind here.

Certainly the option offense is going to benefit by recruiting players with that kind of experience. I personally don’t think the triple option is going to be fully realized at Tech until Johnson recruits his very own runaway beer truck.

There’s also questions about the defense. Jon Tenuta and his “BLITZ! BLITZ!” defense has gone to Notre Dame

3rd and 2? TA-NOOH-TA BLITZ!

In comes Dave Wommack and, hopefully, a little more diversity in defensive coverage. But will it be better than the Top 10 nationally ranked Tech defenses that they have had the last couple of years? No one really knows.

So, what we know so far is that Tech’s football team is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. We’re about to find out soon, though as Jacksonville State arrives in town next Thursday night. They sport newly transferred Ryan Perriloux from LSU who might cause our new defense fits, but do they have the O-Line to stop our defensive line (arguably our greatest strength this year)? Is it going to be a shootout if the newly unveiled Tech offense gets rolling? Lots of questions are on the table and hopefuly next Thursday we’ll at least have the beginning to some answers.

What do you think about your team this year? What are their chances? Conference championship? National championship? Getting to a bowl?


Lately, it feels like in the Game of Life, someone has flipped the “difficulty switch” from easy to hard. Life is hard right now. Work is hard. Finances are hard. Relationships with friends are hard. Church is hard. Caring for twin babies is hard. Everything in life is just…. hard.

Usually in times like this, I have to take a retreat and this weekend afforded me one. My father showed up at the house loaded with saws, lumber, a pneumatic nail gun and we built shelves. It was nice not to have to think about all the hard things going on in life right now and just think about building shelves. It’s therapeutic just concerning yourself with measuring out wood, cutting in the right place and taking a hammer to something. My mother got to play with the girls which had her in heaven and dad got to build something, which meant he was in heaven, too. We all had good times and a good laugh.

Looking back on life, it always seems like these times in the crucible are the times that I remember most and remember most vividly, even if at the time I want them to pass as soon as possible. I know the Lord is stretching me and pulling me right now, and much like when I exercise, I complain a lot about the soreness. All of the daunting tasks in life returned today, but it was nice to have a weekend to take a breath.

The unrelenting heat of August broke this weekend and while there are more hot days yet to come, it was a hint of fall. Football. Cool evenings. Leaves falling. My favorite time of the year. There’s still yet hope it all won’t always be hard.

“And I’m trying, trying, try
Oh Lord, I try so hard
Don’t you know it’s hard
Oh glory, oh gracious
But ain’t it hard to be like Jesus ” – Rich Mullins, “Hard”

Reading List

A lot of my friends have filled out this list from the BBC. So, I thought I’d give a shake at it.

Here’s how it works:

1. Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2. Italicize those you intend to read.
3. Mark in red the books you LOVE. (A long with others, I’m boldly italicizing ones I love.)
4. Reprint this list in your blog.

  1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
  3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  6. The Bible – I guess I have to love it, don’t I?
  7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte – I feel so validated. I thought I was obligated to love this book, but I’m finding out all my friends hated it, too.
  8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
  9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
  10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
  12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
  13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
  14. Complete Works of Shakespeare – The complete works?? Eh. No.
  15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
  16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
  17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
  18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
  19. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
  20. Middlemarch – George Eliot
  21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald One of the few books I was compelled to read in high school that I actually liked.
  23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
  24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
  26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
  27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
  29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
  31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
  33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
  34. Emma – Jane Austen
  35. Persuasion – Jane Austen
  36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
  37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
  39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
  40. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
  41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
  42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
  43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  44. A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
  45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
  46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
  47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
  48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood – Did. Not. Enjoy. It.
  49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding – Did. Not. Enjoy. It.
  50. Atonement – Ian McEwan
  51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
  52. Dune – Frank Herbert – Seen the movie. Sting was in it! Counts? No?
  53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
  54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
  55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
  56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens I have a confession to make. I got halfway through this and gave up and read the Cliff’s Notes. Pretty sure I failed that test in World History.
  58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
  60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
  62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
  63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
  64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
  65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
  66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
  67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
  68. Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding – Seen the movie. Adriene has the book. Not sure it really is a “classic?”
  69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
  70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville – Maybe someday.
  71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
  73. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
  74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson – Read “A Walk In the Woods” by Bryson. His tone and demeanor in the book really turned me off on him. Not really interested in reading more by him.
  75. Ulysses – James Joyce – Perhaps? I’ve heard good things about it.
  76. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
  77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
  78. Germinal – Emile Zola
  79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
  80. Possession – AS Byatt
  81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
  82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
  83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
  84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
  85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
  86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
  87. Charlotte’s Web – EB White
  88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
  89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  90. The Faraway Tree Collection
  91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
  92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery That was a LONG time ago.
  93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
  94. Watership Down – Richard Adams
  95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
  96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
  97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
  98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare – I’ve also read Andy Coan’s adaption where he turned all of the characters in the story into my fraternity brothers!
  99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
  100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo – Saw the play. Counts? No?