Remembering Steve Jobs

Here is my submission to Apple’s page honoring Steve Jobs.

I am new to the Apple product line, jumping in just a couple of years ago. I never understood the “cult” following or could justify paying a higher price for a laptop…until I used my dad’s MacBook Pro. I was instantly converted. My family now owns multiple Apple products as I was continuously amazed by the quality and innovation of Mr. Jobs and Apple as a whole. Developing a quality product makes you successful. Developing a products like the iPod, iPhone and iPad that changes the way we live our lives is legendary. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

A whole new world

I have ventured into uncharted waters. As I type this, I am standing in line outside the Easton Apple store. It is 4:48 in the morning.

In the past several months, I have developed an affinity for Apple products. When the iPhone 4 was announced, I knew I would eventually want to get my hands on one. We didn’t pre-order the phones, but my dad and I both decided we wanted one.

I arrived at Easton just after 4:00 this morning. There were a few people milling about, mostly in the parking lot. Easton security and one police officer were patrolling the area stating that nobody was allowed to line-up until 4:45.

Around 4:15, I drove around the block to check the front of the store and found several people standing at the door. I returned to the parking lot. The security guard said he was going to make them move. As soon as he pulled away, everyone started running toward the store.

I run like I have a cement block tied to each foot. Nevertheless, I took off with everyone else. One guy in front of me fell hard but bounced right back up.

We formed a single line that was later divided separated for people that pre-ordered the phone. It is now 7:39 and I am still in line.

It has been an interesting experience to say the least. It is fascinating to see the different kinds of people and listen to them talk.

There is the guy behind me who offered me $100 for my current iPhone should he not get a new one today. This is the same guy who is trying to slyly make his way a couple spots ahead right now.

The young couple in front of me appeared to be so cute together until an older man walked up and they both called him dad. Then it was just creepy.

There was the man with the tan oozing coolness while drinking his bottled water. He made it a point to inform everyone that the police can’t do anything to you. They can’t detain you. They can’t touch you. If they try, get a lawyer and then you can buy as many iPhones as you want.

There are also plenty of the guys wearing jeans and flip-flops. These dudes will be heading straight to Starbucks with their new phone to order some crappy-frappy gayaccino drink.

Then there are the guys who think it’s cool to chant “i-Phone” and “Steve-Jobs”! They are equipped with signs and everything.

But the people that really think they are cool are the ones that are blogging on their phones while standing in line. Oh wait…

Tiger Woods doesn’t owe me (or you) anything

Tiger Woods is scheduled to speak publicly today for the first time in nearly three months. The golf superstar has been silent since his car accident in November. Since that event, a seemingly endless line of mistresses have come forward to spill details about affairs with Woods. He has lost the respect of many fans and, more importantly, several sponsors.

The “press conference” is hardly that. It is an invitation-only event that will undoubtedly include friends and trusted sources who will not be permitted to ask questions.

In my opinion, this is typical Tiger Woods. He is used to being in total control. Facing three months worth of unanswered questions about his personal life would put him at the mercy of the reporters. Woods does not put himself at the mercy of anyone.

An apology is expected today. I am not sure who he is going to apologize to or what the apology will be about. He certainly doesn’t own me an apology. He doesn’t owe you an apology either, unless your name is Elin Nordegren.

The fact that Woods cheated on his wife has zero impact on my life. I do not agree with what he did, but it doesn’t effect my family or me at all. The reports that he is a sex addict are also irrelevant to me. Even if that is true, the problem is that he had sex with women other than his wife.

This sparks the ongoing debate of whether or not professional athletes are role models. As a golfer, Woods is the best in the world. The focus and determination he shows on the golf course is amazing. As a husband and father, he has obviously failed up to this point. But is that my problem? As a parent, I feel a responsibility to be a role model to my children. Tiger Woods should be a role model to his own children, not mine.

Anyway, was Tiger Woods a role model even before his infidelity became public knowledge? He has been known to go against traditional golf etiquette by loudly cursing on the course and occasionally throwing clubs.

Woods has also never given me the impression that he wants to relate to the common man. You will never see him wearing Wranglers and running around in the mud with Brett Favre. The companies that he represents (or at least used to) are generally thought to be high-end corporations.

I think people are drawn to Tiger Woods because he plays a game that anyone can play. Drive by a golf course on a sunny afternoon and you will people doing the same thing Woods does. He just happens to do it better than anyone in the world, and in front of millions of people.

Today we will see if the good-looking, smooth-talker will prevail once again.

NFL Youth Football: A breath of fresh air

The opportunities for children to participate in sports are endless. Leagues and programs of all types are available throughout the country. Having spent 30 years involved in amateur sports at all levels, including college, I have seen and heard it all – good and bad.

My parents provided me with the opportunity to play sports. I developed a love affair with baseball that is still strong today. It began with the innocence of t-ball and continued through the competitiveness of high school and college. I have also coached and officiated baseball, allowing me to see the game from a whole different perspective.

As a parent, I take great pride in providing my kids the opportunity to play sports. I think very important life lessons are learned through participating in athletics. However, finding the right league or team can be a difficult task.

The Ohio Youth Flag Football Association is a recreational league for boys and girls that is affiliated with the NFL. The league commissioner is Cecil Doggette, a 14-year veteran of the NFL, NFL Europe and Arena Football League. Doggette also spent two years as an assistant coach with the AFL’s Columbus Destroyers.

My son began playing in the league this past fall. The experience has been absolutely wonderful. The entire organization is first class, and it starts at the top. Doggette is approachable and great with the kids. The enthusiasm he shows at every event proves that he himself is a kid at heart.

The fall season began with a draft party, mimicking the hype of the NFL draft. Each child has their name announced and gets to take their place at the front of the room with their teammates. The kids also receive a contract. Everyone has a great time!

The program focuses on giving the kids “life skills” and is backed by the moniker, Kids F.I.R.S.T (Fun Instruction Respect Sportsmanship Teamwork). Everyone involved in the league practices what they preach. My son is currently in his third session of football and we could not be happier.

After having such a great experience with football, my son has decided to add basketball to his activity list. We were pleased to sign him up for the Jr. NBA league, also run by Doggette.

We will continue to be involved in this wonderful organization for as long as my son wants to play. Seeing the joy on his face when he scores a touchdown is something that my limited writing skills cannot describe.

Coward Brian Kelly leaves Cincinnati

I will begin this post by saying that I am first and foremost, an Ohio State fan. However, I like to think of myself as a rational, clear-thinking Buckeye. The success that the University of Cincinnati has experienced the last two years has not made me jealous. Actually, I couldn’t be happier for them and their football program. I rooted for them to win every week and really hoped they would get a shot at playing in the BCS Championship game.

Brian Kelly has led the Bearcats to back-to-back Big East Championships. Last year, an 11-2 regular season landed them in the Orange Bowl where they were beaten by Virginia Tech. This season, the Bearcats posted a perfect 12-0 regular season and are set to take on the Florida Gators in the Sugar Bowl. It has been a dream season for the players, students, fans and city of Cincinnati.

Until last night.

Kelly has left Cincinnati to become the next football coach at Notre Dame. Is Notre Dame really his dream job? Did he just follow the money? I don’t know and neither do you. We both do know that we would do the same thing. I would just do it differently.

He informed the players that he was leaving last night at what was supposed to be the team’s post-season banquet. He entered the Westin hotel in downtown Cincinnati surrounded by police officers and would not comment to the media. So, the man who is supposed to be a leader for these young men sneaks in and out of the building with a police escort while the kids are forced to answer questions from reporters.

Pathetic.

I respect every player on that football team. They are certainly more of a man than their former coach. The whole situation was handled poorly by Kelly. Last night, he proved to be a complete coward.

Every member of the UC football team is facing the biggest challenge of their football career. They are going to be facing a great team on a national stage and looking to show the country they are a championship caliber team. They are looking to further drive home the point that Ohio State is not the only football program in Ohio.

And the man who is supposed to lead them bolts for another coaching job…

Kelly will head to South Bend with expectations and blank check. If he can meet the high expectations of the once proud Irish football program, he will make more money than anyone could possibly imagine. The Bearcats are left standing at the altar.

If a player decides to transfer to another school, he must sit out a year. He is penalized for jumping ship when his coach is permitted to do it whenever he wants.

Bulldroppings.

UC athletic director Mike Thomas announced that offensive coordinator Jeff Quinn will coach the team in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day.

There will be other leaders on the field, like the young man in the video below.