Recently I read a post on the Golden State of the Mind Blog about Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezili. I agree completely that these two players are essential parts of the Warriors' future. I've been a consistent and vocal admirer of Barnes. I've been in touch with him often to encourage him, to keep working on his game. And he has. Festus is also a much improved player. In my mind he soon becomes the Warriors starting center. Perhaps not this year, but maybe the next. He is more mobile and shoots better than Andrew Bogut, who has lost most of his early offensive game and completely lost his free-throw shooting skill, which was never great to begin with. But that's not to say that Andrew might not work his butt off during this off season and correct these deficiencies. As a consummate pro, I'd expect no less from him. But we'll see. If he doesn't, then he becomes back up to Festus Ezili. and that wouldn't be the worst way to extend his career and, maybe, continue to make a solid contribution to the Warriors. Not for the same money, of course.
Huge kudos to All-Pro line-backer for the Steelers, James Harrison. He is returning participation trophies given to his 6 & 8 year old sons. Harrison says, "You want a trophy in the Harrison household, you'd better 'EARN' it." I'm convinced that self-esteem building by handing out trophies and medals for simply participating devalues achieved performance. There is an equivalent problem in education. The last few years of my teaching career, I realized that my students were beginning to expect A's when they really earned B's, B's when they earned C's. This was particularly true of the advanced classes, where anything below an A was considered failure. What does a trophy mean? What does an A mean? What does a gold medal mean? Gold medals are being handed out to kids like candy no matter how they performed. Believe me, the kids k now the difference between coming in last and coming in first. A small certificate would suffice as a self-esteem builder, or perhaps some candy. So right on, James Harrison for taking a stand for a return to the true meaning of excellence.
HUH? The 49ers get rid of grumpy Jim Harbough, a hard nosed coach, and hire Mr. Folksy Jim Tomsala, a so-called "players' coach." I could barely hold back my groans as I read some of his recent comments in the sports page this morning. Can he really be that silly? If I had to chose between these two extremes, I'd always go with the hard-nosed coach. The buddy, buddy kind of coach never works, not when he has to be the disciplinarian. But why on earth must the pendulum always swing from one extreme to the other?
Loved Jason Day's performance at the PGA Championship, never flinching as Jordan Spieth kept the pressure on him. Time to throw some shrimp on the barbie, Jason, and down some beahs.
From my upcoming collection Sky Hooks, here's a Haiku about golf.
On the 18th green
Five foot putt for the win
Fly buzzing his ear
What my musings are all about...
Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.
The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.
The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.