Saturday, July 08, 2006

FIRST CAPITOL NEWS SPORTS - Mike McMurran. S[prts Edotpr

June 30 marks the end of yet another fiscal year, which to me really means nothing. Well, except for the fact that my school district will have a new superintendent, which for the most part shouldn’t affect me. Since this is the end of the fiscal year I will offer a hodge-podge of information and stories.

July 4th weekend is always busy in the McMurran household, primarily due to Maggie and her involvement with the Patt Holt Singers. From what Maggie’s mom tells me, this year’s schedule is nothing like last year’s; that is good. Last year I know Maggie was performing sometimes 4 or 5 shows a day. I was proud of her though, in the 90+ degree temperature, she made every show. This yea she performed on the main stage at Frontier Park on the 4th. The show began right after the parade has been completed. Maggie is easy pick out as she starts the show with “Nothing but a Hound dog.”

One reason I am very much looking forward to July 1st is that I will be reunited with my oldest son Joe. For the past couple of days Joe has been at the YMCA’s Camp Lakewood, having a blast. Of course I voted against his going, as he will have missed a very important Titan baseball game on Thursday. But as usual his mom acts as the voice of reason. “There’s much more to life than sports,” Lynn suggested. The more I think about it, “suggested” is not the correct term – more like “demanded.” So she won out, this time. I on the other hand won out on a much more important front.

It seems Joe was invited to play soccer this upcoming season for both Tony Glavin and Scott Gallager. Now usually Lynn leaves the sports decisions up to me, probably because I am the Sports Editor of this fine weekly, but for some reason she stuck her nose where it didn’t belong. “Joe, who would you rather play for, Tony Glavin or Scott Gallager?,” she questioned the 8-year old. Joe thought for a while and responded, “Mom, I don’t care who I play soccer for, because as soon as dad says I can, I am going to play football.” Proud moment, heh? Not quite. My lovely wife accused me of brain washing my own son; she was serious. This could not go unchallenged by yours truly, as such was a serious charge. “I’ve never brainwashed Joe, all I’ve done is expose him to the game.” Which is true. Joe has literally been in high school football locker rooms since before he could walk. He has attended a NFL National Conference Title game (Rams vs. Eagles), in addition to more Ram’s games than I can count. This past season he began the season as the water boy for the Trinity Catholic High School Titans, working his was up to ball boy. No, brainwashed is the wrong word. Now ladies and gentlemen, if you have ever paid any degree of attention to my written words, pay extremely close attention to this: Lynn apologized! One of the few times in our 20+ relationship, maybe the only time, Lynn apologized.

I could go on to tell you how I then promised Joe he could play football this coming fall – only to find out all the teams were full. Of course I had already promised him he could play before I found out. Telling him the teams were full brought tears to his eyes – which really made me feel like whale crap. Ah but there is a happy ending. If Joe could receive clearance from his pediatric orthopedic surgeon, he could play for the O’Fallon Junior Renegades. As far as Joe knew he was just going in for his annual visit. His appointment was on a Tuesday and I had made arrangements for him to pick up his equipment on that Thursday – as long as she cleared him. She did, and I couldn’t wait to tell him the good news. As he was getting dressed in the doctor’s office I told him he would be picking up his equipment in two days. For the first time in Joe’s life he shed tears of happiness – no kidding! Its something I know I’ll never forget.

Being the fair father that I attempt to be, I have to be equal with all three kids. So a quick word about Dee – the thinker. Dee is playing baseball in the St. Peter’s Athletic Association Pee Wee league. When batting they receive five pitches from the pitching machine, if they don’t get a hit they then hit it off a tee. Dee can clobber the ball. When practicing he will hit eight of 10 from the pitching machine.

During a recent game, he missed all five pitches, leaving me to wonder what was up. His response: “Dad, it is so much easier to hit the ball off the tee, and it goes so much further.” That’s really the way he talks. “I figured if I hit it off the tee I might be able to hit the ball over the fence for a home run.” He didn’t, but you have to admire his thought process.

That’s it for this fiscal year. See ya soon, hopefully with some stories from the Spinks’ fight.