Tag Archives: basketball

Painful to your ears!

A few weeks ago, I posted about my appreciation for a well sung National Anthem at major sporting events. I held up Whitney Houston’s version at the 1991 Super Bowl as one of the all-time best.

If you missed the opening of the Kentucky-Kansas championship game, you missed a rendition that rivals Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold for the bottom of the list.



“Jersey Boys” and Bahama Breeze make a great evening!

We had a busy and very good weekend.

Mrs. Poolman and I headed down to Jacksonville for a quick overnight with her sister and brother-in-law, Bonnie and Rick, and to see the touring production of “Jersey Boys.” It was a lot of fun. Another couple, friends of Bonnie and Rick’s, also joined us. We started the evening with dinner at Jacksonville’s new “Bahama Breeze” restaurant. That is well on my want to becoming my favorite restaurant chain. It was really good! I had the grilled chicken with cilantro crema. Oh my! I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

I spent most of the dinner getting up and checking the Florida-Louisville “Elite Eight” game in the bar. Unfortunately, the Gators blew an 11 point lead in the last seven minutes to lose out on a trip to the Final Four. It was the only downer of the evening.

I have wanted to see the “Jersey Boys” for several years and have been on the look-out to find a touring group that would come close to Savannah. The show follows the story of the musical group, the Four Seasons (Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, etc.) I’ve been a Four Seasons fan since I was in high school. The production mixes drama scenes with many of the groups musical numbers. The music starts off a little slow as the show tells the story of the group’s early years. However, once they got their first hit in “Sherry,” their careers and the production took off.

This show is all about the music. The actor / singers did an excellent job. The actor who played Frankie Valli stole the show with his solo of “Can’t take my eyes off of you.”

If you like the music and have a chance to see the show, it’s definitely worth the price of a ticket.

Slow weekend and bean soup

After a very busy last couple of weeks and two very busy weekends, I was ready for a a “nothing weekend.” It felt great!

I slept late and then ran a few errands on Saturday. I “read” at 5:30 Mass and then Mrs. Poolman and I enjoyed an early Valentine’s Day dinner at a local seafood restaurant that is part of the Paula Deen empire. Got home early and watched the Gators squeak one out against the UT Volunteers in a basketball game I recorded while we were out.

On Sunday, we just hung out around the house and took care of some of the usual weekend chores. I fixed Mrs. P a bacon ‘n egg scramble for brunch. Then I went to work on a ham & navy bean soup for eating sometime later in the week. (The recipe is under the tab at the top of the page.)

Ham and navy bean soup

We had a house full of company two weeks ago, and we had picked up a spiral-cut ham from Sam’s Club for sandwiches, etc. One of the best parts of any ham comes when most of the meat is gone and you just have scraps of meat left on the bone. I have a navy bean and black bean soup recipes that work pretty well – or at least Mrs. P thinks so, and that counts big.

Actually, I started the process on Saturday. I usually boil the meaty ham bone the day before I really want to prepare the soup, and leave it in the refrigerator over night. That way the fat congeals on the surface and can remove it before adding the remaining ingredients.

I finished it off on Sunday afternoon. Mrs. P was so excited she put aside her plans to make chicken marsala for dinner (Or she just didn’t want to mess with it.) and we had the soup for dinner.

We watched some of the Grammies after dinner, and I was reminded how totally out of touch I am with the current music scene. Aside from the old timers, like Bob Dylan, I had barely even heard of most of the nominated artists, let along actually been able to name one of their songs. If I ever make it onto Jeopardy, “Current Pop Music” will not be my strong category.

I’ll bet that tingled a little!

The sports world is providing all kinds of interesting videos this week.

I watched an outstanding Florida-Georgia basketball game on ESPN last night. It went to double overtime, with lots of amazing shots.

But the shot everyone will remember happened when Florida forward Chandler Parsons drained a three from the corner, right in front of the Gator bench, and fellow Gator Vernon Macklin popped him in the “jewels” with a towel.


I’ll bet Chandler and Vernon had a little chat about that in the locker room later.

Stick with the other “football”

I am one of the legions of Americans who just don’t get why anyone would want to spend their time watching soccer. I understand it’s a great game to play, but it is deadly dull to watch.

Compare it to basketball, for instance. Imagine an NBA final in which the players played for 90 minutes. Almost every possession resulted in a turnover. The two teams combined took only eight or nine shots, and only three of them were good.

The fans would be throwing hot dogs onto the court and be leaving in droves. But that  pretty much describes a typical World Cup soccer match.

My friend, Craig, says he loves to watch the skills of the tremendous athletes and the amazing things they do with the ball. From watching the game on Saturday, it seems that the most of the time, the amazing athletes were just turning the ball over to the other team.

I do have some suggestions to improve the sport, like anyone cares about my opinion.

1.) Enlarge the size of the goals.

2.) Eliminate the goalie.

3.) Install a shot clock.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for it to happen, just like you shouldn’t hold your breath waiting for someone to score a goal.

The Favor Bank

Call them by whatever name you like – favors, good deeds, helping out, or a helping hand – favors have been on my mind lately.

It started last week, when one of the women who work in our office needed a ride home. Her son was home from the Air Force Academy for several weeks, and he was monopolizing their one available car. We live just a mile or two apart, but about 25 miles, or 35 minutes away from work. (That is not a function of us living in the boonies. Rather, it is where we work that is “out there.”)

She was extremely appreciative of the ride offer and even offered to help pay for gas.  I told her not to sweat it; it just wasn’t that big of a deal. Dropping her off at home added maybe five minutes on to my 35-40 minute commute. It may have been a big deal to her as the recipient, but to me, it was a simple, no-brainer.

There are big favors and there are small favors. Giving someone a kidney is a big favor. Giving someone in your own neighborhood a ride home is barely worth mentioning.

Besides, as I told her, I was making deposits in the “favor bank.” I’m sure there will come a time when I will need a ride to or from work, or need some other small assistance. I’ll feel better asking her if  I already have some favors “deposited” in her “favor bank.”

I first heard the term “favor bank” from a friend and fellow news director when I worked in TV news. Our sister station, several hours away, needed a second satellite truck to cover a state election. Since we didn’t have an election that day, I gladly sent our truck and operator to work for them for the day. When I called the next day to see how everything had gone, my friend reported that his election coverage was a tremendous success, partly because of our help.

“Son, you just made a major deposit in the favor bank,” he said. “You just let me know when you want to make a withdrawal.”

The concept works well in business situations. From what we see on TV and in the movies, mobsters have the process of owing and paying off favors down to an exact science.

I have tried to convey this concept to students when I’ve talked with college groups about career issues. They hear a lot about networking to get job opportunities, but they often don’t realize that the networking can go both ways. If they can help a classmate/job seeker find a job-lead, they may make a favor deposit and a friend who might return the favor when they are in need. However, there is also a note of warning; they shouldn’t expect a one-for-one return. It never works that way. That’s all the more reason to keep a strong positive balance.

While a positive balance in the favor bank is convenient when you need a ride home or help moving a refrigerator, it’s not the best reason for helping people. I do believe a kindness extended to another benefits the giver more than the recipient. I just ran across a quote from the late UCLA basketball coach-philosopher, John Wooden.

“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”

Well said.