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Best Remade Plans

Friday
August 31, 2007

"Four day weekend, time to have some fun"
-Black Eyed Peas "Weekends"

I seem to have found myself in a curious spot, loaded with free time and nothing big pressing on the schedule. The time was blocked out ahead of time with the thought that I'd be going to Huntington, WV this weekend, but with Velvet out of commission that trip received a big CANCELED stamp. What's more, Matt and Dustin went to Starkville to see LSU's massacre of Mississippi State last night, so right now it's me against the world.

Okay, that's not entirely true; tonight I'm going over to Universal Music to play poker with Andy and Rich Karg and whoever else shows up. But you know what I'm looking forward to the most out of all this? The chance to catch up on sleep. I've burned the candle on both ends a little too much lately, and consequently my sleep habits have been insufficient.

The result? I end up tired and cranky. Catch me at work when it's almost lunchtime and it's late in the week and I'm tired and hungry, and odds are I'll be snappy with you. Not because I want to, but because that's the most pleasant reaction I can muster at that point.

So, to be sure, a chance to soak up plenty of sweet sweet sleep is a valued thing.

Yesterday was supposed to be a great football double-header: my cousin Patrick Pickney (not to be confused with ECU QB Patrick Pinkney) debuting for Father Ryan High School's freshman team at home vs. Hillwood, then a chance to see Brett Favre play in the Titans/Packers pre-season finale for both teams. Alas, neither turned out as planned.

My cousin Patrick is on Father Ryan's freshman football team.
The FRHS/Hillwood game was slated to start at 5:30, but Hillwood simply failed to show up. When I was a freshman at FRHS in 1991, we played every game on the road (due to there being no field for us at the brand new campus), which meant they only had to outfit us with white uniforms. But I remember Hillwood pulled a Dallas Cowboys and insisted on wearing white at home, so we had to borrow the varsity's purple uniforms. The senior who had the same number as me actually found me in the halls and warned me to not mess up his jersey. That's the closest I ever came to facing intimidation in high school, which in hindsight means I got off very lucky.

By 6 p.m. there was no opponent, so Ryan scrimmaged amongst themselves, with the refs having a much easier job than they had expected. Ryan had some guys wear red pullovers to differentiate the sides. Those are the pullovers, for reasons I've never understood, that are sometimes called "pennies".

Patrick looked good in what I saw him do at QB. He reminded me a bit of Johnny Unitas with his crew cut and throwing a tight spiral, though my classic NFL comparison was no-sold by those around me in the stands. Whatever, I liked it.

My Dad and I went from there to LP Field, where we unfortunately found ourselves in a traffic tangle. By the time we parked and made it to our seats, there was about five minutes to go in the first quarter. Literally as we climbed the stairs in our section, PA announcer Mike "The Duke" Donegan (one of my favorite radio personalities on the old WKDF) broke the bad news: "Now in the game for the Packers, #12, Aaron Rodgers." We missed the chance to see Favre in action. Well, unless you count seeing the scoreboard jumbotron on our approach to the stadium. So it goes.

If nothing else, it was fun to spend time with my father. He stays so incredibly busy with work that, even though we work in the same building, it's not like I get to see him all the time. And Patrick plays next week, albeit up at JP2. I look at his schedule and see schools that didn't exist when I was in high school on the docket and, yet again, I feel old. JP2, Independence, Ensworth... in my day, we played the Pearl-Cohn Firebirds; that's the way it was, and we liked it!


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