It was an enjoyable holiday weekend at our house. Some highlights…
I’ll break this out later, but the KU-Dayton game on Wednesday was a fine beginning to the holiday break. That game is an argument for why college hoops is better than college football. Two very good teams going toe-to-toe in the season’s earliest weeks and a loss does not kill you for the rest of the year. Then again, in football that game has tremendous impact and meaning where in basketball, it’s just another in a series of fun if largely meaningless contests that come in the lead-up to March. So it’s a wash?
While on the subject of college hoops, we had one of the greatest upsets in college basketball history Tuesday, when Stephen F. Austin went into Cameron Indoor Stadium and beat Duke. Now SFA is not a bad program. They’ve made the tournament a number of times in recent years and have even won a couple games. But this is Duke at home to an unranked, non-conference opponent. Shit does not happen. Ah, it happened, though, and in an especially satisfying manner with SFA collecting a loose ball and going full court to win at the buzzer.
And then Coach K told a reporter that on the day of the game, he was suffering from a minor health issue and “wasn’t himself.”
What. A. Dick.
He just has to casually roll this out to not only take away from SFA’s win, but also make it all about him.
Proud that I’ve thought he was a dick since 1986.
For the second-straight year we walked one of the local races as a family. We were joined by a few other members of our family and some friends and walked the three-ish miles on a chilly morning.
We hosted the meal, but only had 13 this year, which is a pretty easy number to prep for. We did a large turkey breast, which for the first time ever I prepped with a brine. It turned out pretty good. I also did my standard Giada dressing, a corn soufflé, and some dandy mashed potatoes. We went way outside the box this year and eschewed the traditional pumpkin pie for a pumpkin cheesecake instead. It was real, real good as the kids say.
I went out with some other dads on Tuesday night. When I left L was watching Elf on the couch.
Friday the tree and decorations went up, so the house is looking festive. That evening L and I did our first viewing of Christmas Vacation of the season. She’s watched parts of Home Alone multiple times already.
I’m off to a fairly slow start to my Christmas music listening routine. I expect I’ll round into form quickly since this is a quick Christmas season.
It was state championship weekend here in Indiana.
C went with a friend to watch Chatard win the Class 3A state title Friday night. I tried to get her to wear her Cathedral sweatshirt, but she refused. The team that knocked Cathedral out in regionals ended up wining their second-straight 5A title that evening as well.
On Saturday, I watched my boy Coach H lead CHS to the 6A state title in a very entertaining game. They had a 20–3 lead going into the fourth quarter but needed to recover an onside kick and then convert two huge third downs to kill the clock and close out the 20–17 win. The game was beginning to feel like the state title game 11 years ago when the same two teams played and CHS blew a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter. This was was even more impressive since they were down to their third string quarterback by the fourth quarter due to injuries. This was Coach H’s second state title as a head coach.
Whoa doctor, the Iron Bowl was a good time! There were so many “Oh shit!” moments in that game. It was an utter delight for a relatively neutral, if generally anti-Bama viewer.
Most of the other Saturday games kind of sucked. Was there any doubt that Ohio State was going to lay some wood on Michigan? They should just stop playing the game and save everyone the trouble. And Fox really needs to stop calling it the greatest rivalry in college sports until Michigan wins a few again. Wisconsin-Minnesota was decent for a half, especially in the blowing snow. I bounced around the other games, but none were terribly compelling.
Welp, about as bad a way to end a season as anyone could have hoped for. KU looked thoroughly uninterested in putting out any effort against Baylor. It was not realistic to think KU had a chance, but after some close calls against Texas and Iowa State earlier in the year, I sure hoped the Jayhawks would at least still be in the game, I don’t know, more than three minutes into the contest.
It was easy to get bummed out about the ugly close to the season. Given how the other nine years in the worst decade in the program’s history went, this felt like more of the same. Fact is, though, that for most of the season KU looked much better prepared and coached than they have since 2009. They lost four games by one score. Make a play here or there and steal just one of those and four wins feels like great progress. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s going to take a couple years to get back to mediocre, if Les Miles can in fact do that.
I don’t ask for much for Christmas but a quarterback and some linemen would be high on my list this year.
Sunday we planed on taking our family Christmas card picture. S got the girls up early and took them to a salon to get their hair styled. We had a beautiful outdoor display picked out to take photos in front of. And then a 45-minute trip to the salon turned into 90 because M has so much hair, and by the time we were ready to take pics, mixed snow and rain was falling. Not ideal for styled hair.
So we adjusted on a the fly and went to the local mall where we lined the girls up on the opposite side of the giant tree that Santa was greeting toddlers in front of. We snapped off some pics and were done in about 10 minutes.
Afterward the girls commented on how easy that was. To which S and I said, “No shit! We’ve been trying to tell you this for years!” Soooo many thoroughly terrible picture taking experiences because one kid or another was in a shitty mood and messed it up for everyone. Soooo many tears from the girls and yelling from us. I’d like to think we’ve turned a corner and all family picture experiences will be great from here on. I seriously doubt that is the case, though.
Yep, think they’re about done. And looks like I will get to collect my beer bet with my friend who insisted back in September they would win 10 games.