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Fastest To 800

November 9, 2004

He doesn't do silly end zone dances, talk smack like an arrogant fool, or taunt opponents. If you saw him in street clothes, you might mistake him for a fan instead of a player, with his slender frame and his relatively small stature. But last night, Colts WR Marvin Harrison became the fastest player in NFL history to reach 800 career receptions.

Harrison is one of those athletes who is the quintissential team player, the guy who does his job without running his mouth or, more importantly, distracting his team. He reminds me of a David Robinson or Barry Sanders type of player, someone who just gets the job done on a regular basis. He doesn't need a coach who's a babysitter, or to fling his helmet like a crybaby (a la Chad Johnson of the Bengals, who went on a tirade with his team WINNING last week in Cincinnati).

Because Harrison isn't one of those "rock the boat" kind of guys, he unfortunately doesn't get the kind of attention that would be bestowed to someone like, say, Terrell Owens in the same situation. But Harrison sure deserves it. With his deceptive speed, sure hands and instinct to find the end zone, he and QB Peyton Manning have become the Montana-to-Rice of our generation.

Here in Tampa, people are slowly -- slowly -- climbing back on board the Bucs bandwagon. That win on Sunday over Kansas City was pivotal. It's been nice to see Tampa Bay finally working Ken Dilger into the offense on a more regular basis. The guy was a Pro Bowler in his last season with the Colts, and he's got the goods to make things happen. What's been most impressive though is the play of rookie wideout Michael Clayton. He's had the opportunity to play (with Joe Jurevicius and Joey Galloway hurt), and he's had future Hall of Fame WR Tim Brown there to learn from. For rookie WRs, the road to success is seldom easy, but Clayton is getting things done.

Switching gears, if you know me, you might know that I like to use the word moxie in the right situation. Well, it turns out that the word moxie is derived from the name of a soft drink. This link explains the story of Moxie, which I understand is still sold regionally today in the New England area. Interesting, eh? I wonder if they used to put cocaine in it (like Coca-Cola used to do with their soda drink).

On Sunday I received an intriguing e-mail from Mark Grisez related to the Pickney family history page on my site:

I found your website by doing a google search on my family name and the state of Tennessee. Thank you for listing all of that family history. I am a descendent of the Grisez family of which you speak. My grandfather's (William Grisez) grandfather (I might be off a generation) was Francois Xavier Grisez from France. I have emailed Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Winchester to find out if they can give me any more information on the family after 1860. Ironically, my wife and I own a little piece of mountain land in Sewanee just up the road from Winchester.

Francois Xavier Grisez played an important role in the early years of the Pickney family in this country, as he helped out the first generation of Pickneys (Pequigneys) who came over from France as they settled in a new country with a new language and a brand new way of life (Grisez had been here for ten years by the time the Pequigneys arrived, and it was in part through his urging that they decided to make the trip over here).

Anyway, this might mean nothing to many of you, but to me it's fascinating to learn more about my family's past. It will be very nice when I will get to add the newly acquired family tree info from my Mom's side of the family over Thanksgiving...

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