This is a great time of the year! A little break from school, time to see family, lots of good eats, and of course the celebration of the birth of Jesus! I always reflect back to high school when my pastor had a message where he talked about how an all-powerful God could have brought Jesus into the world as any type of conqueror. But, instead he chose to bring in Jesus as an innocent, defenseless, cute baby, born in the humblest of settings. That just always amazes me. Merry Christmas indeed to all.
We'll be going to Greensburg to spend time with my family on Christmas and then down to Uniontown to see Beth's grandfather & uncle & family on Friday. I hope the weather cooperates to make travel stress-free. My grandma is back in the hospital again and it doesn't look like she'll get out today, so that's a bummer that she'll be in the hospital for Christmas. As last time, she's in the hospital one mile from where I teach (and 40 miles from where my family lives), so it's unfortunate for my family to have to navigate the Squirrel Hill AND Fort Pitt Tunnels each way. But, I'm glad I can just swing by on my way home after practice each day.
I'm getting behind on my sports updates, but here's some quick hitters:
*On Saturday, Davidson got humbled at Purdue. I saw the score was 21-0 on ESPN's website scoreboard and thought it was a malfunction like they sometimes have. Nope. It was 21-0 and 76-58 by the end. Stephen Curry had a bad day. Coach McKillop said he needs to figure out between now and March how to get more balanced and take some of the pressure off of Curry. Good luck.
*Also on Saturday, Beth and I watched the PSU women's volleyball team sweep Stanford 3-0 in the NCAA Championship. It was exciting to hear the announcers say things like "best team ever" and "all six starters All-Americans" about Penn State. I guess you can argue considering they only dropped two SETS the ENTIRE YEAR--and those two were in the semi's on Thursday night in front of 17,000 Nebraska fans. I also noticed that volleyball players can sure jump and repeatedly jump. I'm going to look into some of the volleyball drills and see if I can transfer them to my jumpers.
*On Sunday, the Steelers got humbled in Tennessee. Considering as bad as they played to only be down 10 in the 4th quarter is impressive. The INT return for the TD at the end made it look uglier, but that's okay. The Steelers are still the #2 seed and still get a bye and a home game. And, maybe it's better to be on the road for the AFC championship game. I have many bad memories from 1994 (SD), 1997 (DEN), and 2001 (NE).
*Penn State beat up on big bad Sacred Heart on Sunday. When do they play anybody tough? They're 11-2 and haven't played any big names except Temple (loss) and Georgia Tech (tried to lose at the end). Big Ten play starts after Christmas, so we'll see what they're made of then.
*On Monday, the Pirates signed Ryan Doumit to a 3 year deal with an option for two more years. It shows commitment on both ends. The Pirates are putting in some money on a guy who's a true leader and put up good numbers last year after showing potential (yet injuries too) over the previous few years. The Pirates are gambling that Doumit's going to stay healthy and productive.
*On Tuesday, Arizona beat up on Kansas in the 2nd half and ended up winning 84-67. I was fighting to stay up until halftime last night (around 11pm) and it was 38-35 Kansas. But, the Wildcats outscored the Jayhawks by 20 in the 2nd half. I have to tell you, with the interim coach, I see a little more emphasis on pressure defense. They could possibly stay in my favorite teams category, but they're still on probation. Jordan Hill is turning into a beast and Budinger is solid. I have to find out more about Horne, Johnson, and Fogg once football season is over.
MERRY CHRISTMAS, ALL!