And what is the plan?
other team in the offseason. Do more than any other team is willing
to do in the preseason (like how many teams are willing to do
two-a-days and start at 6 a.m.? I know my coach wasn't). Put
together a time-consuming Thanksgiving tournament that is a lot of
work but will demonstrate all we need to work on, while probably
guaranteeing us a few wins because we're already ahead of the
That, my friends, is how you get a leg up on your opponents and
give yourself a chance to perennially win 20 games.
With two more victories this past weekend, over Taylorville and
Decatur, Lincoln closes out the pre-Christmas portion of the
schedule somewhere in the vicinity of 8-1 and 3-0.
Next up for Lincoln is the Holiday Classic in Bloomington-Normal.
Lynx finish first half in good shape
The Lincoln Lynx finished the first half of their schedule in
pretty good shape as well. They will take an outstanding 12-2 mark
into 2005. A mature club with fantastic balance lends credence to
the fact that this team could do some real damage come postseason
time. Memo to the community: Get out and see this team!
Lady Railers coming on strong
The Lincoln Lady Railers handled Chatham-Glenwood 70-56 to even
their record at 5-5 and, better yet, improved their conference mark
to 4-1. Coach Anne Stoltzenburg's club has weathered the loss of
Megan Hoffert and is playing some inspired ball right now. Get out
and support these Lady Railers.
Illinois STILL No. 1
I am quite sure that I would never get tired of writing that,
saying it or even thinking it… I hope the Illini join me in that
resolve. After Illinois' 93-56 thrashing of Valparaiso, the whole
event turned into a love fest. All five starters scored in double
figures for the third time this season.
The game was an excellent tuneup for the Missouri game on
Wednesday night in St. Louis. IF Missouri EVER wanted a chance at
some national recognition, it will come in the form of the Braggin'
Rights contest held at the Savvis Center. The confident fans are
already promising no problems. Rumor is that many Mizzou fans can't
even stomach the possibilities and have sold their tickets for a
All I know is that basketball is a funny game. Sometimes your
shots don't fall and the other team can't miss. Sometimes a game
will have an abundance of "interesting" calls. And sometimes things
just don't go your way… I just hope that Wednesday night is not one
of those times. I won't speak for all Illini fans but only for
myself. My own personal Christmas holiday is a LOT more enjoyable
when Illinois wins this game. Enough said.
ISU rolls on without Alexander
The Redbird Express rolled into Chicago Saturday afternoon and
rolled out with an impressive 73-67 road victory over
Loyola-Chicago. The victory takes their record now to 8-2 before
opening Valley play at SIU… Who came up with this game as the start
to the league schedule? Not to mention its date on the calendar… I
just don't get it.
Lincoln's Gregg Alexander suffered an untimely ankle sprain
before making the trip, and the Redbirds were forced to win without
him… and they did just that. Some sources indicated that Gregg might
be out for as much as two weeks… which is a blow considering how
well Alexander has been playing of late.
Cardinals finally make a move… but,
was it the right one?
The LDN now knows that the St. Louis
Cardinals acquired Oakland A's ace Mark Mulder in exchange for Danny
Haren, Kiko Calero and minor leaguer Daric Barton. Had they made
this deal last year and given themselves a legitimate chance of
winning the world title, I would've really liked this deal. As it
now stands, after losing Renteria, Womack, Matheny, Williams and
potentially some more, I'm just wondering if the deal is worth it. I
say that because Haren and Calero were really pitching well at the
end of last season; Mulder was not. I hope he was just tired and or
burned out and that a change of scenery will turn him into a
20-25-game winner. Mulder is only 27 (for comparison's sake, Randy
Johnson is 41) and comes into the deal with a lifetime record of
81-42 and a 3.92 ERA. He's got a year and an option left on his
contract, so hopefully it will work out for all parties concerned.
[to top of second column in
I still don't know what the Birds
are gonna do for a shortstop, a second baseman and a leadoff hitter…
The problem is I don't think St. Louis knows either.
No word on any Cub transactions this
morning except rumors flying of Baltimore's interest in Sammy Sosa.
Colts still finding ways to win
Watching the slugfest between the
Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts was ugly on several
fronts. However, Peyton Manning and his mates found yet another way
to put a game away and win again. The only question left is: Will
they be able to do it during the playoffs?
The Bears and Rams are done, so just
stick a fork in them.
Non-sports item… Why I love Christmas
so much… the reason for the season…
I know that there are a lot of
skeptics, agnostics and even a few atheists out there. But one of
the reasons that I love Christmas so much and why it inspires me as
much as anything to make my life count is because of the many
fulfilled prophecies surrounding the birth, life and death of Jesus
Christ. Hundreds of years before he was even born, people who didn't
know him or weren't related to him predicted the events that happened in his
life. They didn't just guess, and the events cannot be chalked up to
mere coincidence. The more I study them, the more I'm amazed.
Perhaps that's what the Creator envisioned for those who will
meditate and contemplate God himself becoming flesh.
As a small gift to you loyal
readers, I have included a sampling of those prophecies to help you
reflect on the importance of this celebration. I bid all of you and
all your families a most blessed Christmas.
Isaiah 7:14: Therefore the Lord
himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and
will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Matthew 1:22-23: All this took place
to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'The virgin
will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will
call him Immanuel' -- which means, 'God with us.'
Micah 5:2: But you, Bethlehem
Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of
you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose
origins are from of old, from ancient times.
Matthew 2:1: After Jesus was born in
Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the
east came to Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 31:15: This is what the Lord
says: 'A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted,
because her children are no more.'
Matthew 2:16-18: When Herod realized
that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he
gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who
were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had
learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet
Jeremiah was fulfilled: 'A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and
great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be
comforted, because they are no more.'
Hosea 11:1: When Israel was a child,
I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
Matthew 2:14-15: So he got up, took
the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt,
where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled
what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'Out of Egypt I called
Have a GREAT Christmas, everyone!