Saturday, November 04, 2006


It is the best of times, it is the worst of times – such explains what has been happening in my life lately. Allow me to explain.

Let’s start by going back to the first round of the playoffs when the Cardinals were playing the Padres. As many of you know I bucked up with Doug and Mary Medley and purchased ? of a season ticket. This afforded me 4 tickets to 10 games. More importantly it put my name in the hat for post season tickets – and boy did I get lucky. Anyway, back to the San Diego game. Lynn and I attended game #1, and I shared with her how the very seats in which we were sitting cost $225 for the World Series. “Well you can be certain we won’t be sitting here for the World Series then, we’re not paying $225 for a baseball game,” she said in her lovely, sexy voice. I suspect the older I get, the smarter I get, because I knew it wasn’t worth arguing over. Heck, what were the chances the Cardinals would even make it to the Series. No way they could beat the Mets, no way on earth!

Well, on the morning of Friday, October 20th, the morning after the Cardinals defeated the Mets, I stood up to Lynn – and told her, yes told her, that I was in fact going to go to one of the World Series games, if my name was selected. “I’m not going, I’m not spending $450 for tickets to a baseball game, who you going to take?” she said, in her lovely, sexy voice. Regular readers of this column will recall that I have a very special nephew who lives in Indianapolis. This nephew has been a Cardinal fan since before he could walk. He and his lovely wife Kelli recently purchased a new house and dedicated an entire room to his Cardinal memorabilia. “I’m calling Tom McMurran and asking him. Of course he will have to pay for his own ticket,” I told her in a manly manner. If my wife has a soft spot, and she does, it has to do with family. Family supercedes pretty much everything – so she put up no fight. I called Tom and told him we had a very good shot at tickets, but he would have to pay $225. He said he would get back with me after he checked with his wife. “Like uncle, like nephew,” I always say.

Here is where my story is going to get tricky. I’m going to try and talk about two things at once. Usually I have a hard enough time trying to talk about one thing – here goes. On the night of Friday, October 20th, Trinity Catholic High School scored its biggest football upset in the young history of the school by beating Cardinal Ritter College Prep by the score of 24-22. Remember now, I am, or was, the offensive coordinator of the Titans. Not only was it the biggest upset in the school’s 4-year history, but, in over 25 years, neither Aquinas, Aquinas/Mercy or Rosary had ever defeated Cardinal Ritter. So we are talking over 50 years of football here. I was on cloud nine!

The following evening much of the football coaching staff and the girls’ head basketball coach attended a trivia night at Trinity. From the beginning of the evening I could tell something was wrong. Now, I am not going to mention any names from this point on, only titles. If you wish to fill in the dots you certainly may do so. The assistant a.d. told me that he would take care of making sure we had a table reserved. Not only was there no table, those in charge made sure we knew that they were going out of their way to seat us. Never mind that there were a handful of empty tables in the gym. We had nine players at our table and there were but 8 chairs. I personally asked the gentleman who collected our money if that would be a problem. He informed me that he wasn’t certain, but would get back to me, and he did. “You just can’t win first place,” were his exact words. How do I know, ‘cause I said to him, “no problem, we never finish very well anyway.”

Well, to make a long story short (I know, it is already too late for that), we finished in a 3-way tie for second place. Now, this is where I think God himself stepped in. The tiebreaker for most trivia nights is picking the number of points you think you will score – we picked 91. I wish it wasn’t true, but our final score was 91 points! There was, I must admit, a commotion, most of which the master-of-ceremonies was yelling, yes yelling at our table: “You’re all a bunch of cheaters! This entire table is full of cheaters!” Never once did we raise our voices, as we were rather shocked at his behavior. Oh, did I mention that while we were coming in second place at trivia night, that the Cardinals took game #1 of the World Series? Well, they did. I also forgot to tell you that Doug Medley informed me that I would be going to the World Series; he just didn’t know which game.

Sunday morning I woke up and figured the President of Trinity Catholic High School would call me into her office and slap my knuckles with a ruler. For the record it wouldn’t have been the first time a nun rapped my knuckles. More importantly, Doug called me and let me know I had two tickets to game #4 of the World Series. By Monday morning I was painfully aware the game #4 couldn’t be the clincher, but at least Tom and I would be going to a World Series game. Monday morning I also received a call from Sister to report to her office at 2:50; assumedly for my knuckle wrapping.

On the way to sister’s office I received a phone call from the former girls’ head basketball coach at Trinity High School. “She just fired me,” he informed me. I swear I thought he was joking. “Nope, she fired me, so be ready.” Well, he wasn’t joking, and neither was she – she fired me too! Of course she then shared with me that it would look much better if I resigned. “I can’t do that Sister,” I told her, “I’ve always told my players that quitting is hard only once – the first time you do it. After that, quitting is easy. I can’t quit on my players. The only way you can keep me from coaching if to fire me.” And she did!

Strangely, the North County Journal reported on its web site that both me and the girls’ head basketball coach at Trinity Catholic High School had resigned. I contacted the gentleman who wrote the column and he told me, “Sister told me you both resigned. I took her word for it; after all, who would think a nun would lie?” Neither the girls’ former head basketball coach, nor myself resigned, so what does that tell you.

In the mean time, my nephew showed up on Wednesday afternoon, and that evening he and I sat in Section 135, Row 5, seats 5 and 6, for over two hours in a steady rain. At about 9:20 or so they postponed the game; rescheduling it for Friday.

I’m quite certain everyone knows what happened next. Wednesday’ game was moved to Friday. The Cardinals won on Thursday, taking a 3-1 game lead, and on Friday evening my nephew and I attended the World Series clincher. God knew that if Trinity Catholic High School’s football team was playing on Friday night, and they were, I would have passed on the World Series game and stayed with my team. God wanted me at that World Series game – and he did his work through a holy person. Never, I might add, did she attempt to wrap my knuckles, although I’m pretty sure I saw her looking at them.

Finally, if the Saint Charles Pirates defeated their rivals of West in football Thursday evening, Corey Nesslage has his first district title in only his second year of coaching. If you do your research you will discover that yours truly predicted, some 4 or 5 weeks ago, that the Pirates would come out on top of the district. How about that?