A Good Start is A Good Thing

NFL 2016-PHILADELPHIA EAGLES DEFEAT PITTSBURGH STEELERS 34-3
Philadelphia Eagles rookie quarterback, CARSON WENTZ, completes a pass to Darren Sproles in the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers for a first down. WENTZ completed 23 of 31 passes for 301 yards and 2 touchdowns and no turnovers.leading the Eagles to a 34-3 victory. WENTZ is the first rookie in NFL history without an interception in his first 100 pass attempts to begin a career.

 The Philadelphia Eagles are 8-1. The Philadelphia 76ers are 6-4. Who saw this comin’?

First, the Birds. My Eagles are atop the NFC East AND have the best record in the NFL. There’s still a lot of football left, but by golly – an 8-1 start is not too shabby. In fact, is pretty darn good, if not downright scary. This past Sunday they beat the Denver Broncos 51-23 and it wasn’t that close. AND going into the game, Denver had the league’s No. 1 Defense.  Really!

Now for my favorite sons: DA Sixas! Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have taken the Sixers by storm, and they are on a FIVE GAME winning streak. I just said the 76ers have won five games in a row after starting the season 1-4.  The last time they won five games in a row was 2011. Seriously. 

All of Philly is trying not to overreact or be overconfident or overestimate our chances of . . . well, you know.  But there’s no harm in having high hopes, right?

The moral of the story is this: a good start is a good thing. Yes, you still have to finish, but in God’s Playbook, a good starting point is not a bad thing. So start strong. Start fast. Start with the end in mind.  The goal is always high and lofty and a stretch. That’s why your goals should be just beyond your reach, and your reach should be just short of your grasp. It pushes you forward and pulls you onward above all that you could even ask or think.

So don’t settle for mediocre or middle of the pack or the mean, median or the mode. Your enemy is called average. You can do better than before, and even the rest.

Just get a good start.

Can Dusty Get It Done In DC?

dusty baker (2)

I like Dusty Baker. I do. But there are a few who don’t and that’s why Dusty’s days may be numbered in DC. He’s in the last year of a two year contract, and if he doesn’t make hay now, there may not be many managerial days left for the old-school baseball traditionalist.

Johnnie B. “Dusty” Baker Jr has been around the block more than a few times. He’s managed in San Francisco, Chicago, Cincinnati and now Washington. All of his teams have excelled in the regular season. Unfortunately, it’s that pesky postseason that’s a perennial problem for Dusty.

The Nats are 38-23, with the third best record in Baseball and are 10.5 games ahead of the New York Mets, who aren’t even playing .500 ball. But they are in first place in their division, which is nothing to sneeze at. It’s just June, so there’s a lot of baseball left to be played.

So here’s to Dusty. I hope that he and his team can leg it out and make a run for it in this year’s playoffs.  I’m not a Nats fan, (I can’t be, I’m from Philly!) but  I can and do route for Dusty.  The Nats have not extended his contract beyond this year, presumably because the Front Office is waiting to see how the team does down the stretch under Dusty. Last year, the Nationals would win the NL East in his first season, but they lost in the NLDS against the Dodgers.

Go Dusty!

Playing With A Chip On Your Shoulder

SI Bryce Harper Guess who’s in first place in the National League East? The Washington Nationals. That’s right, the Washington Nationals. The team with the curly double “u” for a logo. The last time we checked in with these same Nats they were tied for last place and looking bad doing it. (https://godandsports.net/2015/04/27/sports-in-washington-dc-up-and-down-and-all-around/) Right now they’re red hot; they’re clearly the hottest team in baseball, having won eight of their last ten, and they have the hottest player in baseball, Bryce Harper, who’s hitting home runs just for something to do. So what about this Bryce Harper dude? He’s been billed as “Baseball’s LeBron.” He’s been on the cover of  Sports Illustrated TWICE. He’s just 22 years old, he’s getting it done at the plate and in the field, and he’s the toast of the league and the talk of the town. He’s brash and brazen, chucky and cheeky, sassy and brassy, and he’s just what the Dr. ordered in order to get these Nats to where they want to go. And he’s playing with a chip on his shoulder. SI Bryce Harper2 The Washington Nationals have built themselves into a bona fide, legitimate veritable and unquestionable contender. And it’s because they’re playing with a chip on their shoulder — and it’s working. Since moving from Montreal 10 years ago, the Nats have had to prove that they belong. For ten years, the Nats have been trying to prove that they’re not a step-child, black sheep, wannabe, not quite ready for prime time team (https://godandsports.net/2014/10/08/not-quite-ready-for-prime-time/).

Someone who has a chip on their shoulder is angry all the time. They feel that they have been wronged by the world, so they are always ready for a fight or a feud or a scuffle or a tussle. They are easily offended because they feel that they have been treated unfairly by others, or perhaps they feel inferior. The Nats fit this bill to a tee. Bryce+Harper+New+York+Mets+v+Washington+Nationals+elEfXksh7sDl Playing with a chip on your shoulder can also mean that a person has a grievance about something. Something bad has happened and they believe it was someone else’s fault. This kind of person is constantly angry about it so that it affects their behavior. In their mind, a person who is “chippy” is showing how tough they are. Sounds like Bryce Harper and the Nats to me.

The phrase dates back to 1830 when two churlish Long Island boys were determined to fight. A chip was placed on the shoulder of one, and he demanded the other to knock it off at his peril. In this case a chip was a small piece of wood. Ever since, a young boy who is angry about something and determined to fight would place a small chip of wood on his shoulder and challenge another person to knock it off. When the chip was knocked off, it meant the opponent was ready and the fight would begin.

The Nats have something to prove. And so do you. You are fairer than they say you are, you are finer than they sense you are, and you are fiercer than they suppose you are. So go ahead. Prove it. Put the chip on your shoulder. Play “Mad Enough To Win” (https://godandsports.net/?s=Mad+enough+to+win) and make sure you “determine to disappoint the devil” (https://godandsports.net/2013/10/03/determined-to-dissapoint-the-devil/)

The phrase “Playing with a chip on your shoulder” has a negative connotation, but it need not be entirely negative. When your friends forsake you and your enemies underestimate you, there’s nothing wrong with playing with attitude and arrogance, with aggressiveness and assertiveness, and with determination and this declaration: that nothing and no one, and I mean NO ONE can or will beat or best you or strip you or stress you. Why? Because you are more than a conqueror. God always causes you to triumph in Christ. God’s strength is made perfect in your weakness. And your victory lies in your faith. 

So always remember and never forget that you were designed and you have been destined to win.