Joel Embiid says,“Trust The Process!”

USP NBA: OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER AT PHILADELPHIA 76E S BKN USA PA

Joel Embiid: “Trust The Process!”

What is a process? Simply speaking, a process is defined as

  1. A systematic series of actions directed to some end; and
  2. A continuous action, operation, or series of changes taking place in a definite manner.

It seems that Joel Embiid is the one who will have the last laugh, as the Philadelphia ‘76ers are the laughingstock of the NBA no more. The Sixers are no longer in last place, as they are now surging and they are winning and they are beating some of the best teams in the league. Last night they beat the Raptors. The Raptors! Why are they winning? Or more precisely, how are they winning? I’ll tell you why, and I’ll tell you how. Because of Joel Embiid and “The Process.”

The Association’s longtime basement dweller and bottom feeder is now on the rise. They’re on the rise because the team and the fans and all of the Philly faithful trust “The Process.”  And I went to a game in Philly last Friday night and watched my Sixers beat the Charlotte Hornets!  If you were wondering what’s all the fuss, After watching the game in person, I can assure you that Embiid is as good as it gets.

Here’s what Sports Illustrated columnist Lee Jenkins wrote back on in October about Joel Embiid:

“He is engaging, charismatic and funny, but unlike many foreign big men, his humor is intentional. ‘You know how I learned to shoot?’ Embiid says. ‘I watched white people. Just regular white people. They really put their elbow in and finish up top. You can find videos of them online.”  How funny is that?

“First from the bench, then from a suite, Embiid watched the 76ers lose 136 games while changing general managers, overhauling training staffs and moving practice facilities. He became an emblem of frustration with the franchise, as well as a fascination. Maybe the Sixers were stupid to have spent such a high pick on a 7-foot center they knew was hurt. Or maybe they were genius, the rare organization (the only organization?) willing to wait for a Dream-shaking, floor-stretching, rim-protecting prospect the likes of whom arrive once a generation. Nobody could judge the graceful giant until he mended, body and soul.”

So well said and so well put.

So, aside and apart from all of Philly sitting on the edge of their collective seats watching Embiid and waiting for Ben Simmons (I can hardly wait!), here’s what we all can learn: we all need to go through as systematic series of actions directed to some higher and lofty legacy, not just “some end.”

Indeed, Embiid says that he IS the process. Amen brother. He didn’t just go through one; his life and his career are one. Since life is like sports and sports are like life, our lives are also a process. We are all going through a continuous, action and operation and a series of changes taking place in a definite manner towards a great and hopeful future.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11, NIV

Follow the Leader: Brady or Rodgers or Ryan or Roethlisberger?

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So who ya got? Which quarterback is better? Which quarterback will advance and carry and lead his team on to the Super Bowl?  Brady is Brady, and Rodgers is Rodgers (did you see that finish?) and Roethlisberger can’t be counted out. But what about Ryan?

Ryan is the presumptive MVP, but how can you bet against Brady?  And after Rodgers did what he did in Dallas, how can you bet against Rodgers?

Because it’s all about leadership. Everything, and I mean everything, rises and falls on leadership. For me, I need Heaven to lead me and guide me and instruct me in the way that I need to go. Because without a leader, you’re lost. You’re a ship without a sail and a plane without wings. Without an executive director or a chief officer, one who rules and guides and inspires us on and up and forward, we won’t win a thing.

So who ya got? A Brady/Rodgers Super Bowl would be just dandy. As for me, Rodgers has the hot hand and he may well win it all.

Aaron Rodgers Does Dallas!

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Rodgers does it again!  And the 13-3 Cowboys will have to wait until next year.

The Dallas Cowboys will not win Super Bowl LI. They won’t even go to the NFC Championship Game. Not this year. Why? Because of Aaron Rodgers.  That’s it and that’s all. Case closed. Rodgers basically beat Dallas all by himself, with an award for best supporting actor to Jared Cook.

Rodgers threw for 356 total yards, but none bigger than a 36-yard pass to a toe-dragging Cook down the sideline just after he had been sacked. Talk about being stagy and cagy. Then, field goal kicker Mason Crosby kicked a 51-yard field goal as time expired, sending the Packers to the NFC championship game with their eighth straight win. In so doing, the suddenly resurgent Rodgers thwarted a huge Dallas rally in a 34-31 victory in the divisional round of the playoffs Sunday.

Cook, who led Green Bay with 104 yards receiving, kept both feet inbounds with a knee just above the ground out of bounds. And it came after the Cowboys tied the game TWICE in the final 5 minutes behind rookie sensations Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott in their playoff debut.

Dak Prescott has nothing to be ashamed of. And Ezekiel Elliot did the best he could. But Dallas started slow and spotted Rodgers an 18 point lead. Yes they finished strong but they also came up short. That’s it and that’s all.

So what can we learn?

Wisdom and prudence beats hubris and ego every time.  Aaron Rodgers may be old and aging but he’s also senior and shrewd.  Yes he’s elderly in football years, but he’s also wily and savvy. And the veteran QB outlasted and out-dueled his rookie counterpart Prescott on the opposite sideline in a playoff game for the ages.

Wisdom and the spirit of wisdom are more to be desired than gold, yea even much fine gold. The Bible says that wisdom is the principal thing.  Remember that wisdom personified is Sofia, a delicate, dainty dame that is to be procured and protected. So get wisdom. Ask for her. Treasure her. She will never let you down.

And while Dak and Zeke are no dummies, I offer this scripture to emphasize how important wisdom is, and how dangerous it is to be stupid:

If you crush a stubborn fool in a mortar with a pestle along with grain, even then his stupidity will not leave him.

Proverbs 27:22, GOD’S WORD Translation

Note from Clemson: Don’t Be Surprised When You Actually Win The Big One

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Clemson Actually Won! Coach Swinney said “Only God could do something like this.” Amen brother. Down by 10 at halftime, Coach Swinney told his team

We’re going to win the game, because we love each other. I don’t know how, but we’re going to win the game.

Period. End of discussion. And after the game, Coach Swinney gave us the moral of the story: Clemson’s win gives us all hope, because “greatness is for everyone.”

So it shouldn’t be a surprise when our dreams come true. It shouldn’t be a shock to the system or a jolt to the nerves when everything we’ve worked for and everything we’ve hoped for and everything we’ve longed for actually and finally comes true and bursts through the front door.  

I am so happy for Coach Swinney.  I am. He deserves this win way more than most coaches that have won. And Deshaun Watson, Clemson’s star QB, was as confident and convinced and certain that his team would win as any other player ever.

Alabama did not lose the game; Clemson won the game, fair and square. Because Alabama was ranked No. 1 and Clemson was No. 2, it was an upset. But make no mistake, like it or not, the better team won. And Clemson clearly was the better team. And to quote Coach Swinney once more, “the win was not an upset, it was an expectation.”

The legend of Dabo Swinney just hit No. 1 on the charts and it will stay there for some time. The coach that almost nobody at Clemson wanted or heard of just won a national championship. And they didn’t just win, the won with ONE SECOND left on the clock! Wow.  Talk about a dramatic, come from behind finish. Some of the headlines spoke of the spectacular win:

Clemson Shocks Alabama to Win National Championship.

Clemson Wins National Championship in Thriller.

Clemson Stuns Alabama To Win National Championship.

Rarely is a sequel as good as the original, but Clemson rewrote the ending in its national championship story against Alabama. It was a triumph savored by Tigers players past and present.

Alabama v. Clemson II was everything we hoped it would be. The sequel was even better than the original. Legends were born as Clemson scored in the final seconds of the 2017 CFP National Championship, stunning Alabama with a thrilling victory.

Over the final 4:38 of the game, the teams would score three touchdowns and trade the lead three times, with the Tigers ultimately ending the night and the season on top the sport via a 35-31 final score. That insanity triggered a frenetic schedule that would continue for the coach, his family and his team that would carry on until well after most of everyone else on the East Coast was fast asleep.

He was already the best player in program history, but after coming up short in one title game and missing out on two Heismans, Deshaun Watson sealed the deal with an epic game-winning drive. At 12:27 a.m., the game finally ended after the game clock hung up on one final second for more than five minutes as officials made a ruling on the onside kick by Clemson.

What a way to win the big one.

http://www.usatoday.com/videos/sports/ncaaf/acc/2017/01/10/swinney-clemson-win-gives-hope-%27greatness-everyone%27/96393442/

Can Clemson Beat Alabama? (Round II)

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I like Clemson’s Head Coach, Dabo Swinney. I do. And in Alabama v. Clemson II, I DO think the Tigers can hang with the Alabama Crimson Tide tomorrow night. If Clemson pulls it out and pulls it off, the game will go down to the wire, which means I’ll need to stay up way past my bedtime to watch. Phooey.

Tomorrow night is college football’s big stage: the College Football Playoff National Championship. And on that big stage lies the 60 minutes that separates No. 2 Clemson from winning its first national championship in 35 seasons. To do so, the Tigers must beat No. 1 Alabama, the most successful program of our time. A victory by the Crimson Tide would be the school’s fifth in eight seasons, all under head coach Nick Saban.

Alabama is the college football team everyone loves to hate. People hate and love Alabama basically because of their colorful, crimson character of a coach, Nick Saban. Because of Saban, “‘Bama has been (and will be?) the standard in college football for a long time,” Swinney said before last year’s game. So, the question is this: can Dabo do it? Will Dabo do it? Or more pointedly, how might Dabo do it?

I ask myself these questions each and every day. Can I do it? Will I do it? Or more pointedly, how might I do it – whatever “it” is? And the answer is simply this: if you want to achieve you must first believe. And Dabo is driven and determined and set and settled on beating his alma mater tonight. Good for him. And his win tonight, if he can notch it, will speak volumes and teach another life lesson and set another sports precedent for the rest of us to follow.

On the flip side, Dabo’s desire and drive and desperation just might spell and equal an UPSET for Alabama. Make no mistake about it; even though the Tigers are No. 1, if they win, it WILL be an upset, because Nick Saban will be UPSET!

So here’s to the Clemson Tigers and cheers and hats off to Dabo Swinney. Because if he pulls this one off, he will have kept me up and kept us all awake and keep the college football world roused up and hunkered down to do it. Because it’s going to take some doing to do this. But isn’t that what we all face every day?

Another Reason To Hate Duke: Grayson Allen is “Trippin’”

Jimmy V Classic

Coach “K” got it wrong. The Duke Coach got it all wrong. Coach Mike Krzyzewski suspended junior guard and former captain Grayson Allen “indefinitely” and the indefinitely lasted a whopping one game. Allen was suspended for just one game for tripping an opposing player, not once or twice, but for the third time. And now Grayson Allen is playing again. Unbelievable.

I say again, this marked the third time that Grayson Allen intentionally tripped an opposing player in the past year. Allen intentionally stuck out his leg and tripped an Elon player Wednesday night, December 22nd, an incident he later apologized for. Allen was defending Santa Ana late in the first half of the Blue Devils’ 72-61 victory. Santa Ana drove past him on the baseline, and Allen stuck his right leg out, sending Santa Ana to the floor. Allen was assessed a technical foul. He then became overly emotional on the bench after he found out about the technical.  Talk about a poor sport.

Grayson Allen has now thrice committed the same dirty play. Does that make him a dirty player? You tell me. Allen has now gone from a mild-mannered, Bible verse-tweeting potential All-American to the biggest villain in college basketball. The passionate, palpitant, hard-nosed Allen is arguably the Duke Blue Devils’ best player and is the heart and soul of his team. With him they have a shot at going deep into the NCAA Tournament. Without him, they’re toast. So is that the reason why Coach K and the Duke University brain trust are putting up with his behavior?

There have been many discussions regarding disparity in punishment as pertaining to race. Just think: what would have happened if Grayson Allen was another color, race or creed? He probably would have been kicked off of the team and possibly dispelled from his school. It is disappointing and disparaging to see a Duke player get treated differently than other players would certainly be treated. The  “conspiracy theorists” of the world all believe that there is a double standard, and Duke in general, and now Grayson Allen in particular, got off and got by after doing what is horrible at best and heinous at worst.

Allen has endured a significant amount of scrutiny and criticism, and has been caught up in a viral, social media firestorm; but he did this to himself, purposefully tripping three opponents in the last two seasons. First it was Louisville’s Ray Spalding on Feb. 8, 2016, then Florida State’s Xavier Rathan-Mayes on Feb. 25, 2016. The first incident was surprising; the second incomprehensible, a pattern of dirty behavior that no longer could be written off as a “Did he or didn’t he do it intentionally?” debate. No, he did it, with his right foot out, left heel up. It turned Grayson Allen into a trending topic on Twitter, an ignominious YouTube sensation and the topic of conversation around the country.

Then, this past December, Duke suspended Allen after the third incident. Here’s what Coach K had to say after the latest trip: “We have had the opportunity to thoroughly review the incident involving Grayson Allen from last night’s game against Elon. As I stated last night, the incident was unacceptable and inexcusable. . . . As a program, we needed to take further steps regarding his actions that do not meet the standards of Duke Basketball. To that end, we have determined that Grayson will be suspended from competition for an indefinite amount of time.” And Coach K stripped Allen of his captainship.

Former Duke standout Jay Williams had this advice for Grayson Allen:  “Grayson Allen has a choice to make, the same one another former Duke guard had to make a long time ago. Will he learn from being forced to sit and watch? What happens next will define him.” And one ACC coach told ESPN’s Andy Katz that Allen needs help handling his actions. To say the least.

ACC commissioner John Swofford issued a statement supporting the move, calling sportsmanship “one of the core values of our league” and adding that the suspension “demonstrates adherence to this important principle.”

And here’s what Allen had to say for himself: “I made a really bad play. I’m sorry to him, Santa Ana ….. I’m sorry to the officials who had to call that. I’m sorry to my team. It was selfish and taking away from them. I’m not proud of that at all.”

Duke’s season depends on whether Grayson Allen can grow up. Yes, Duke made the right move suspending Grayson Allen, but it’s what happened during his short time away — and WHY he returned so soon — that will define a season for a team many thought would play for the title.

The question was asked, “how long should Grayson Allen sit?” The answer?  He sat one game. A whopping one game. Wow. He should have sat for much longer.  In hockey, if a player is tripped on a breakaway (with no opponents to pass other than the goaltender), a tripping call may result in a penalty shot for the tripped player. Nuff said.

Yes I believe in grace and mercy and redemption, but I also believe in judgement, and in this case, the punishment did not fit the crime.  If there’s one thing I can’t stand its dirty players. Right is right and wrong is wrong.  And Grayson Allen was wrong, three times over, and he got away with what amounts to a slap on the wrist.

What’s wrong with that picture?

Wow! The Peachy, Orange-Like, Sugary, Citrus of a Rose Bowl Was A Fiesta

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You Missed The Rose Bowl?

Seriously?  How could you? It was one of the best bowl games EVER! Penn State started slowly, and it looked like USC was going to run away with it. But then, in the third quarter, Penn State scored what seemed like a gazillion touchdowns in a row, and just like that, USC was on the ropes and in danger of losing a virtual home game to that team from back east. But THEN, USC came roaring back and scored 17 points in the blink of an eye; and, voila, the Trojans won an instant classic 52-49.

The Rose Bowl is considered to be the “Granddaddy of ‘Em All,” at least when it comes to college bowl games. And if you didn’t see last night’s 103rd Rose Bowl, then you might as well consider yourself dismissed from the ranks of real, bona-fide, sports fans. Take it from me, and I don’t even like or support all of these dang gum bowl games to start with.

Seriously, I know why you missed the Rose Bowl: there’re too many of ‘em.  It’s ridiculous. You were suffering from “over-conjunctive-bowl-itis.” It’s an actual disease. I mean, how can even the most ardent of sports fans keep up and watch most of them, because there is no way, any one person could watch ALL of them? Right? Do you know how many bowl games there are? Way more than we need. Way more.  And I’m not the only juror to reach this conclusion; the verdict is unanimous.

Here’s how one sports writer summed up the current college bowl crisis back in 2014:

“For all of the good reasons one might propose for trimming the annual bowl game slate, the most common complaint seems to center around the exhaustion of being forced to endure all 38 (39, if you count the title game) bowl games we’ve had over the past month.”

Editor’s Note: in 2016 there were 46 Bowl games, including the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl and the Dollar General Bowl. But you knew that, as I’m sure you caught those games.

“The second-most common complaint — and one that actually has legs — is that bowl games have been expanded to the point that they have been stripped of all meaning.

Thirty years ago, there were 16 bowl games. Thirty-two of Division-I’s 112 teams made a bowl game, and the rest stayed home. There were a lot of teams with winning records that didn’t get to sniff the postseason. This year, 15 bowl-bound teams have managed just six wins. Thanks to its conference championship loss, Fresno State could end the season 6-8 by losing to Rice in the Hawaii Bowl.

And don’t sleep on the Camellia Bowl, which pits Bowling Green vs. South Alabama.  That very sentence alone is enough to make a traditionalist go blind. At the same time, the effects of bowl-mania are relatively benign — at least as far as game itself is concerned. Yes, reaching a bowl game may carry less significance than it once did.”

Editor’s Note: Wrong! Reaching a bowl game absolutely carries less significance than it once did. But surely I digress.

“But who ever said all bowls carry the same merit? Reaching the Rose Bowl still means the same thing it did 30 years ago. If its value has been diluted, it’s only because the new four-team playoff bracket is the primary attention-getter over the traditional big-name bowls.

Football programs don’t exactly line the stadium hallways with elaborate displays of TaxSlayer.com Bowl trophies. Nobody’s jealous of making the Camelia Bowl — other than the 50 teams who aren’t making a bowl appearance, and even some of them would probably turn an offer down.

Thirty-nine bowl games exist because all of them generate revenue.

That’s not the most inspiring genesis for holding a good ol’ football game, granted. But it would be inconsistent to decide now, after years of allowing money-minded college athletic departments to fatten their revenues on the backs of athletes who haven’t received one dime of extra compensation, that suddenly we are taking a stand and telling prospective bowl hosts to go shove it.

Bowl games make money, period, even if they’re terrible at passing on the benefits to participating schools — a criticism best saved for a different day.

The important point is that schools continue to accept bowl invites because of the benefits they do see: the national TV exposure (a huge boon for smaller programs), the slight recruiting edge, and the excitement a bowl berth can stir in a fan base.”  By: Jonathan Crowl 12/9/2014

Especially the Granddaddy of ‘em all.