Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Look Back at NBA Player Reggie Theus

Reggie Theus is one of those guys not many folks will remember unless you saw him play during his career and even then I doubt many will be that familiar with his career.  I though, have always been a fan and rank him in my top 5 favorite players of the NBA.  He was a combo guard who played 13 seasons from 1978 to 1991 averaging 18.5 points and 6.3 assists per game while shooting 47% on his career and could get to the free throw line.  He had a solid career making the all-rookie team as well as two all-star teams.  He didn’t get a ton of headlines but played well averaging 20+ points per game four times (high of 23.8 in 82-83) and was top 10 in assists per game three times.

He played 5 ½ seasons for the Chicago Bulls and was traded away a year prior to Michael Jordan being drafted.  He has stated publicly “what if he had remained with the Bulls”.  Things definitely might have been different for him.  Would he have worked in that offense would be a big question but he could play the point well and might have been able to coexist with MJ.  In Chicago he made the playoffs once getting past the first round only to be swept in the second round.  If he had been there for the Jordan era he might have been a big part of that run.   
His next five seasons with the Kansas City/Sacramento Kings he played very well though the team only made the playoffs two years never making it past the first round.  He was a much better passer and was again a consistent scorer.  From there he played one season each for Atlanta, New Jersey and Orlando.  Theus was consistent throughout his career averaging 18 points per game for four of the five teams he played with (he average 15 for Atlanta).  His shooting was steady as he shot 47% over his career and only had two years where he shot below 46% while shooting never shooting above 49%.  He never really shot threes averaging one per game.  He was durable playing in 82 games eight times with five of those being his first five seasons in the league.  He also played 81 games in his final season.  

None of this will probably excite many people.  For whatever reason I grabbed on Reggie Theus as a player.  Maybe it was the look.  I always thought of him as the Billy D. Williams of the NBA and he actually did act mostly in TV series but I kid.  I’ve said it before.  You never know what players you’ll key in on in sports.  Some guy nobody else looks at twice or obscure players.  I seem to have many of those and enjoy looking back at their careers here.  

Friday, November 18, 2016

Gregg Popovich and How I Felt Back Then

This year is the 20 year anniversary of Gregg Popovich taking over the Spurs’ head coaching duties. At the time he was the team’s general manager and I remember how I thought this was such a raw deal.  Then Coach Bob Hill was off to a 3-15 start that year but he was also coming off two seasons in which the Spurs had won 62 and 59 games respectively.  He was no slouch.  In 1996-1997 the team also dealt with a ton of injuries to include star David Robinson.  It just didn’t seem right nor sit well with me then.  I thought it was a bush league move but obviously Popovich was smarter than we all thought.

And the rest is history right?  With Robinson out the bulk of the year they were 17-47 under Popovich but won the lottery and the right to choose Tim Duncan.  What a coup that was.  The franchise never looked back and won five championships in the 20 years that have passed.  Just shows you that you just don’t know.  I love what they have done and how they’ve done it.  A model franchise.  Here’s to ya Pop.     

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Review

I'll try to stay away from spoilers but no promises...so I'll throw the SPOILER ALERT in right here just in case.  So I saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at the 6 o'clock showing in town.  We are a small town so there were only about 12 folks in the theater even though it was the first showing.  I liked it.  My 21 year-old daughter got me into the movies when she was younger.  I was still a little late to the party probably starting with the third movie.  I quickly caught up and also read all the books.  I am a fan of the Harry Potter movies and books so I've been waiting for this.  Just watching the trailer you knew Beasts would be different.  Even knowing that the first half our of the movie is tough because you find yourself yearning for a Harry Potter movie.  This isn't Harry Potter.  Once you get past that you'll enjoy the movie.  Even so you'll always being comparing this one to the originals.  So go in with the right attitude. The movies does a decent job setting up the wizard world in New York set some 70 years before Harry Potter.  Looks like this will be the backdrop for what is to come in the sequels. 
So the main character, Newt, shows up in New York with a suitcase full of Fantastic Beasts.  Some escape and mayhem ensues.  The local wizarding government already has their hands full with something that is wreaking havoc and is being witnessed by the nomaj's (word for muggles in the U.S.).  So adding mystical animals into an already chaotic picture is not a good thing for our heroes.  How they all merge is a little contrived but it is rare that movies of this ilk don't make you just have to go with it at some point.  Newt and his new lady friend, her sister and an unsuspecting nomaj who is caught up in the hijinks are at the center of the story.  In the end they are able to save the day and everything is great again for the most part.  I thought many of the threads make the tone of the movie more adult'ish.  Again this isn't Harry Potter. 
The different beasts are good but to be honest they seemed to take up too much screen time for me.  A lot of just following the main characters around as they chased animals as opposed to developing a story more. There is also a ton of interaction with the nomaj who must have their memory's wiped daily (sarcasm).  I also would have liked a few more spells and wand action.  All that said I liked the movie.  I was definitely into it more at the end than at the beginning but I've explained why that was the case.  Any Harry Potter fan has to see this movie just to see this other world that is so different from what we are used to.  I think I have read there are like 5 sequels in the works.  So watch the move and get ready for more.  I can't wait to hear what others think so I'll be checking out the other reviews in the coming days.

My Uber Experience

Last week we were in Baltimore for a number of days.  While there we used Uber.  We are from a small town so this was my first exposure to the service while my wife had used it on multiple trips before.  The thought of “random” folks picking you up in their car to take me somewhere has never appealed to me but I was pleasantly surprised.  Every vehicle was clean and each driver had no issues getting us where we were going (they all use GPS).  We were also picked up in a reasonable amount of time.  Conversations were easy.  So overall it was a no stress deal.  None of our trips were very long which might have helped.  The app was easy to use.  It spelled out who our driver was (to include their picture), the make/model of the car, license plate and we could even follow them as they travelled to our location.  With the app money is preloaded into your account so there is no need for cash to help allay fears over carrying money around.

The drivers themselves were an eclectic group with none having done Uber more than six months.  Among them a couple were immigrants, one a worker from Baltimore who had time on his hands (holiday), and a gal with a broken foot just to point out a few.  All were pleasant to deal with.  I was surprised to find out some have driven people to other cities like Philadelphia or Washington D.C.  I realize those cities are fairly close but wow. 

So overall this is a service I recommend.  Like with anything though it is worth doing your homework.  I’m sure there are those out there with different experiences which may help you make a decision on using the service.  While Uber is somewhat new it seems to be fairing ok so far after some initial backlash.  Just thought I’d share my experiences for anyone who isn’t familiar with Uber or had questions.    



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

I Visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Last week, we also visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.  Another fun time.  It doesn’t quite stand up to the Pro Football Hall of Fame but is great none the less.  It has the feel of a rock hall of fame from the music to the lighting and even the smell.  The building is a site and is pretty cool in of itself.  The hall starts at the beginning bringing you up to the present with all the greats throughout the years.  There were many early artists I wasn’t familiar with but it is always fun to learn more of the history.  There are also video displays throughout which I enjoyed as well as the different outfits, historic artifacts and fun bits of history.  A great place to visit with lots of fun to be had.  I’ve thrown up some random pictures of different displays that caught my fancy – the ZZ Top car was definitely the highlight for me.   
The Hall

ZZ Top

Me with Metallica

The Doors
Metallica Set Props

Not sure why they had a display but hey I wasn't going to pass up taking a picture.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I Visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Cool "locker room" where they had a holographic Joe Namath speak to you.
Last week, we were able to hit one of the destinations we’ve talked about visiting forever – the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  We had a great time.  We drove from Southern Illinois to Canton, OH and visited the next day.  It was a Sunday which is ironic because I was missing all the football games but it was worth it.  I’ve thrown up some pictures of various displays throughout the Hall.  There are just too many things I could go into detail about but I won’t bore you. 

The great Kenny "The Snake" Stabler - One of this year's inductees.
Overall it was very inviting and pleasant.  The folks that work there are very nice. It is quiet and very easy to go at your own pace or direction without intervention.  I didn’t realize the Hall is a non-profit organization which I liked hearing for no real good reason.  There were many different types of displays and presentations to include some done by presenters, videos in small theaters as well as an actual holographic video in a locker room setup.  We spend about five hours there which included a fair amount of time in the gift shop which doesn’t disappoint.  I couldn’t recommend this experience more.  It was very fun and as a lifetime NFL fan it is a must see if you ever get the opportunity.   
My man crush Brady - notice the angelic look...

Loved Doug Williams.

Bills' great Jim Kelly.

A few from the hall of busts including OJ, Staubach and Joe Namath.
Falcons' great Claude Humphrey (w/Ali in the picture).

Sweet Roger Staubach locker setup.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Chicago Cubs Win World Championship!

A little late on this one but it has been a very busy month.  Cubs win the World Series!  Whoever thought they’d be able to say that in their lifetime?  I didn’t have a rooting interest in either team but was very happy that the teams with the longest droughts were facing off against each other.  In that sense I couldn’t be happier for the Cubs fans.  I’ve been lucky enough to watch Boston and Atlanta each win championships.  But waiting for those opportunities is horrible and nobody has waited longer than the Cubs.  And they did it in great fashion with a fantastic comeback. 

You have to feel for the Cleveland Indians fans.  They were so close and unlike the Cubs don’t necessarily look to be locks to make it back to the World Series next year.  Still it was a great year for them.  I have to admit about ¾ of the way through the season I had to look up their lineup because I really didn’t know who 90% of their starters were.  Terry Francona really did a good job managing this team through their injuries to get them as far as he did. 
Really this was a win for all baseball fans.  Again two teams and fan bases who had suffered so long deserved their day in the sun.  In the process they gave us a great World Series.  And it was tough to dislike Cubbie fans when they had suffered so long.  But now the gloves are off.  Others can now give them all kinds of grief as the Chicago fans revel in their newly found Championship.  Congratulations Cubs. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I Voted!

I actually voted early this year as I'm on the road.  I will agree with the majority and just say voting for President this time out was more painful than a root canal.  Doesn't matter.  I voted.  I won't let an election go by without voting no matter how tough it is.  I do hope we can get back to normalcy with the next election.  I've been appalled at what we've seen from both Presidential candidates this year.  I won't get preachy but I do hope everyone else took time to vote no matter who they voted for.