Archive | January 2015

Selflessness and Sports

For me, sports provide an avenue to learn more of the human soul, and the best of the human condition. When I turned on my laptop when I got home, I went to YouTube, and an E60 piece from ESPN about a Chicago Cubs prospect named Matt Sczcur (pronounced like Caesar). It told how he helped save a young girl’s life by donating a piece of his healthy bone marrow. Watch the clip here to be inspired by generosity and complete selflessness.

Sczcur was a star football and baseball player, and gave of his body and life without any thought for his benefit. In fact, by donating bone marrow, he lost important time to impress MLB scouts to earn better position for future employment. He sacrifices and expects nothing in return. It is that sort of love that I want to have and that’s the way I want to live my life. Thanks Matt for reminding me of that.

Jedi Wisdom, learn it I must

Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t seen the Star Wars movies, I would advise you not to read this post until you do. I don’t know why you wouldn’t have watched some masterpiece movies of that level, but if you haven’t, spoilers ahead you have been warned of.

No, I don’t actually talk that way. Nor am I two feet tall or a Jedi. Having said that, I love Star Wars. I love the characters, the music, the story, the effects, the light sabers, the star ships, the everything. Ok, except Jar Jar Binks, the love banter between Anakin and Padmè in Episodes 2 and 3 (WORST DIALOGUE EVER!!), and the generally poor performance given by Hayden Christiansen as Anakin in 2 and 3. Other than those things, the Star Wars movie saga is the greatest movie saga ever created.

Oh, before I write more, I need to note that while I love the Star Wars movies, I’ve never read any of the extended universe, I’ve not played the majority of the video games, and I’m not on the level of major Star Wars fanboy that people like these are. I just enjoy the films for what they are, entertaining movies that deserve ranking among the greatest ever made. (The originals that is)

While Obi Wan Kenobi is my favorite character in the whole saga, the character who struck me recently is Yoda, the little green Jedi Master who popularized the object subject verb speaking format, as opposed to the English language’s proper format, subject verb object. Yoda is the oldest, wisest, and most powerful of all the Jedi. He taught almost every Jedi the ways of the order for hundreds of years, he was an excellent swordsman, shown by this fight against Count Dooku and this fight against Darth Sidious. After the events of the prequel trilogy decimate the Jedi and leave them weak in the face of the newly crowned Emperor and his right hand man, Darth Vader, Yoda goes into exile on a remote swamp planet called Dagobah. When Luke Skywalker arrives on Dagobah, Yoda immediately humbles him with some wisdom and knowledge that far surpasses anything Luke knows or expects.

There’s one line that hits home the most for me. When Luke first realizes who he’s talking to, Yoda immediately rebukes Luke’s outlook, saying “This one I have watched a long time. (Referring to Luke) All his life he has looked away… To the horizon, to the future. Never on where he was; what he was doing.” I watched that clip, which you can see here, and thought “Oh right… Thanks Yoda…” I’ve had a number of things change very quickly in my life recently, and I’ve not done a good job of appreciating where I am or focusing on the job I have at hand. I’m a college student, and I’m here to study and learn first and foremost. I need to keep reminding myself of that. My future will not happen by my worrying about it too much or looking to the horizon the way that Luke did. Thank you George Lucas, I mean Frank Oz, I mean Yoda for that great reminder. I’ll make a point to stick to that point.



What a Great Crowd

Since being in college, the absolute best part of being here is the friendships, dealings, and fun that I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying. Today, I got to lector at Mass at the BU Catholic Center, something I enjoy tremendously. After Mass, and a little adoration, members of the BUCC gathered and, as is tradition for us, we went to lunch. It took a while for us to get there, but we did eventually get to our intended destination. We set up a table, I mean took over a table, and enjoyed a nice lunch in some fun company. Stories, puns, jokes, lessons, laughter, and anything else in between flowed like a massive river. It’s exactly what I’ve come to expect from my cohort of friends. While I expect it, I shouldn’t count on it, or else I’m quite sure I will lose them eventually. Well I won’t worry about that quite yet.
Also, later in the day, I got to be a part of a Bible study. It’s led by an awesome dude who the fellas at BU love, and it’s a study where I’ve learned a lot and grown in my faith. I’m happy to have this, and the friendships that go along with it. I’ll be sure to enjoy my friendships now. And I’ll be thankful for every chance I get to enjoy this great community dynamic in the BU Catholic Center.

Baseball in the Winter

No, I didn’t go out and play baseball in the blizzard, though I really wish I had. Baseball is my favorite game, both to play and to watch. I have a summer birthday, I grew up playing in my town and with my dad, and I get excited for any discussion about baseball. Everything from a Hall of Fame debate, to honoring past greatness, to commiserating with others about how bad my team is, to the chance of going to games at Fenway or with the New Britain Rock Cats. I spent part of the snow day watching old baseball highlights to keep distracted and entertained. It’s still early in semester, so there’s not too much work for me to do yet. So when I wasn’t outside playing in the snow, or doing schoolwork, I spent time watching baseball highlights. It ranged from looking at the 2001 World Series, among the greatest ever played, player highlights of people like Mike Trout, Dustin Pedroia, Andrew McCutchen, and even Derek Jeter, and a look back at my favorite team, the 2004 Red Sox. I miss seeing baseball games every night, and I’m excited for the upcoming season. I’m reminded of my love of baseball by the stuff that pops up on my YouTube feed, and the amount of memories I have at Fenway Park, which I see when I take a 3 minute walk down the street. This reminder for all baseball fans, 22 days until the first team has pitchers and catchers report for spring training. 23 days until the Red Sox pitchers and catchers report. Hope this leaves you feeling a little warmer after a nice reminder about baseball.

Snow, All day long

Blizzards are a good time. There’s plenty of snow, wind, and winter to go around for everyone. I went to bed on Monday night with the wind and storm howling. I woke up and wasn’t able to get the door to my building open, there was so much snow. How lovely. Here are some pictures that show the city of Boston, and BU, in the blizzard.






Lectoring at Mass

Sunday’s mean Mass for me. Mass means a chance to collect myself, reflect on the week, and listen to God. It also affords a chance to be involved in the service. For my involvement, it’s usually in choir, or some small in-sundry thing, like doing the collection, or bringing the gifts to the altar. Today, I was a lector. I did the first and second of three readings at Mass. I often read at Mass. I’ve lectored since I was in middle school. It’s a cool way to practice some useful public speaking skills, like diction, pitch, projection, etc etc. While working on useful skills like that, you also learn more about the faith. Today’s readings are here, if you’d be interested in seeing them exactly.

The homily explaining these three readings centered on how incredible God is and how amazing the possibility of being with Him is. Also discussed was the idea of Pascal’s Wager. And the notion that God is so incredible, and we have to take a chance on Him. It’s one that I’m willing to take. And it’s one that I bought into a while ago.

Reading at Mass reminds me of that we need to be active in our faith, if we are ever to get closer to God, and that it’s completely possible to be involved in Mass even if you’re not in the clergy, or (and I say this with no offense to members of the clergy) not interested in joining the clergy. I have other places I’m called to be. I still need to be involved in my faith. We all do.

Pretty Snowfall

Growing up in New England, I got used to snowfall, weekends spent shoveling my driveway out, skiing, having snowball fights, and enjoying the wintertime in proper New England fashion. This winter has been unusually warm. Not that I have a problem with that, it’s just a curious observation. New England is about to get blasted with a big snow storm. The first round of it already happened on Saturday. I had to walk to and from Agganis Arena to work a game yesterday, and I had to walk through the big snowflakes that came down throughout the morning, and evening. Whenever I was outside, it felt like, there was snow galore. It’s not the easiest to walk in, especially in dress shoes, but it can be very pretty to look at and so serene. Hopefully the nor’ Easter we get over the next few days will be bearable and won’t blast the area with too much snow, just enough to look pretty outside.


Mr. Cub, Why we should love Baseball

Late Friday night, Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks passed away at the age of 83 years old. He lived a long, healthy, happy, and successful life. He served the U.S. military for a few years, won two MVP awards, the admiration of every baseball person in the world, even those of us who weren’t born until 23 years after he played his last game, earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013, and will be remembered as the greatest player in the long history of the Chicago Cubs.

The story of his ending up in Chicago, let alone baseball, is remarkable. He grew up in Dallas, and preferred swimming, basketball, and football to baseball. His dad got him a glove for cheap, and effectively bribed him to play more baseball with him. When he graduated from high school, he was a star athlete, lettering in basketball, football, and track, not baseball. Why? Because there was no baseball team at his high school. He played for a semi-pro baseball team called the Amarillo Colts. He was discovered by a scout from the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro American League, the same team that Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson played for. It is disputed who from the Monarchs found him. Some say Bill Blair, some say the legendary Cool Papa Bell. Regardless of who found him, he joined them, played until he was drafted into the military. After his service was over, he played more with the Monarchs until Buck O’Neil convinced the management of the Chicago Cubs to sign him in 1953. While Ernie was reluctant to go, he did. He became a hero for Cubs fans. He was a consistently great player with a positive disposition. He would be seen after the game with a smile on his face saying, “Let’s play two!” He loved baseball so much that he never really wanted to leave the field. He played his heart out on the field every time and is still loved by the city of Chicago.

His baseball accomplishments speak for themselves. In 19 years, he was a 14 time all star, a gold glover, a 2 time NL MVP in 1958 and 1959, hit 512 home runs, was voted to MLB’s All Century Team, and was a first ballot Hall of Famer in 1977. He is one of the greatest players of all time. Yet he will always be remembered for his disposition. He was among the most positive and happy men to play baseball. He will be remembered as a great model of class and sportsmanship. His most famous quote, “Let’s play two!” is inscribed on his statue, which I got to see when I went to Wrigley field over the summer. I admire Ernie Banks, because he is a reminder of the good of baseball. Even when no baseball is being played, he screams of tradition, enthusiasm, and the warmth of the summer sun. When I heard this news, I was with a friend who is a Cubs fan, and the person I spent the day at Wrigley Field with. I feel bad for the Cubs organization and his family after Ernie’s passing. While the Cubs haven’t done a ton right in recent years, they can do a fantastic thing this year by honoring Ernie with a successful campaign this year.

Rest in peace Mr. Cub.

Appreciating other team’s fans

I’ve followed football for years. Last week Sunday was championship week, and my Patriots won to make it to the Super Bowl against Seattle. Of course, many fans in the country were not pleased by this. There’s one in particular that I’ve been following who has been vocal about his disdain for both teams in the Super Bowl this year. Last year, I started following a YouTube series called That’s Good Broncos, a series covering the happenings of the Denver Broncos football team. The show is hosted by a guy named Brandon Perna, a bearded Denver Broncos fan extraordinaire, who loves his team, and hates mine so much, that he decided to make his own YouTube series and talk about his team so he can try to make a living off of that. I admire him for that.

Though we disagree about football perspective, namely our views of the Patriots and Tom Brady, I can still appreciate his style of commentary. Perna is very crude in his language and presentation, but that’s part of his charm. He is always willing to mock and ridicule everyone, and he relentlessly loves his team, as a true fan would. He makes many more jokes about sex, drugs, and other inappropriate things than I would ever make or have experience in, but he makes me laugh whenever he has a new video out.

It’s especially fun watching him ridicule the teams in his division, like the Raiders, Chiefs, and Chargers. I have mixed feelings about his Patriots related videos. For example, when he did a video after last year’s AFC Championship game, where the Broncos defeated the Pats, I was annoyed with him and the Broncos. I knew what he was gonna say, but I was still a bit peeved by it all. On the other hand, when the Broncos were defeated by the Pats in the regular season both this year and last, I loved watching his videos. Does this make me a jerk for taking joy at the expense of others?probably. Oops. I’m just being a sports fan and rooting for my team.

I hope that Brandon will keep producing more videos like this, and will entertain the crowds made up of Broncos fans, and others, for a long time to come. He’s very talented, though crude, and wonderfully funny. He reminds me what it is to be a loyal sports fan. Thanks Brandon! Follow him on his YouTube page, his Facebook account, and on

Sleep: Man’s best friend

Since returning to Boston, I’ve had mixed nights of sleep. Sometimes, I sleep wonderfully through the night. Sometimes I wake up in the morning refreshed and ready to go in the morning! Others, I’d rather not be up at all. Wednesday morning was one of the latter mornings. I was groggy and tired, and I didn’t want to get out of bed yet. I was lucky that I don’t have a class on Wednesday, and I could afford to get a little more rest! I’ll do a better job of getting to bed early as the days go along.

Oh, if you need more evidence for why you should sleep well, click on the link below to find out.