SLEEPOVERS, GOOD SPORTS, GREATEST EVER, GENO & MERLE HAGGARD

April 7, 2016

On paper it seemed like a mismatch.

Eight elementary school aged girls versus one Dad.

Many said I was crazy and many more doubted my sanity.

But my daughter Ally wanted a Sleepover party for her 11th birthday and the ole man was poised to deliver.

sleepover pic

I didn’t really know what to expect as I hadn’t played four square in over three decades and don’t know the words to all those Taylor Swift songs.

For those who have never thrown an all out sleepover —here is what I learned:

*Cut off the Treats–had to hide the Easter candy and after we cut the cookie cake, I’m glad we trimmed back the sugar or this would have turned into an all-nighter.

*Never vote on a movie—-they all want something different and often request flicks that are rated way past the scale of their age group. Sorry girls–no R or PG13 movies. Thank god they were more interested in playing Minecraft on their phones which was a game changer. Technology was my friend.

*Pace yourself: Give them their space yet make sure you know exactly what they are doing.

*Game on: Plan lots of games where at this age it’s something that keeps them busy and they all are very competitive—so they get into the competition.

Our Four square tourney was a hit— big upon arrival and hardly lost momentum the next morning.

ally 4 square sleepover

We actually put together our own 5 event Sleepover Olympiad where the winner won this:

ally's sleepover trophy

Funny when we handed out the awards to the winners (and amazingly every girl won something which was a relief) I told them all, it would be fun to have the Olympic theme playing in the background and wouldn’t you know it—one of the girls pulled it up on her Iphone?!

Outstanding–they laughed when I told them Dorky Dad got his cellphone when he was 30 years old.

One day these ladies will be teenagers and peer pressure will escalate but for now I’m enjoying my 11 year old Ally and her friends who couldn’t have been better, where I’m happy to report our first sleepover was a huge success.

With one down, we are looking forward to many more. The years fly by, it’s important to enjoy these moments while you can—especially those before Dad quickly turns into the lamest guy in the room.

That day is coming in a hurry.

Sleepover Secrets– our first stop in another sleepless stay in the Naborhood–as always thanks for stopping by.

GOOD SPORTS: April may be the best all around month of sports where you have the Masters which is always fun to follow but Augusta National to me always reeks of guys like this:

judge smalls

Great event but a bit too stuffy at its core. Pass the pimento cheese sandwiches….

You have Opening Day, the NFL Draft and March Madness which despite the diluted product that is college basketball, this tourney still doesn’t disappoint.

Before we get to the winners, let’s salute the losers.

What really impressed me was the way those North Carolina kids handled the loss–listening to Tar Heels like Marcus Paige and his teammates face the music with class afterwards was refreshing. Hearing how well they handled it showed how silly Carolina QB Cam Newton looked after pouting in his post game presser following his team’s Super Bowl defeat against the Broncos back in January.

marcus paige

cam newton pout (2)

Hard to fathom a tougher loss for Paige and his teammates. Paige is 22 years old, Newton will turn 27 next month—-the elder statesman could have learned something watching those young Heels handle it’s Final Four Heartbreaker.

BEST GAME EVER? For my money Christian Laettner’s buzzer beater versus Duke still remains the gold standard as the best NCAA Tourney game ever but this year’s Villanova/UNC championship game is the best finale I’ve seen.

Sometimes when you watch a game and see in a span of 90 seconds–an amazing game tying circus shot (Marcus Paige) followed up with a game winning three (Villanova’s Kris Jenkins)  it’s easy to a make an instant overreaction and say it’s the best ever— but after a few days to digest, I still believe it was.

So upon further review—here are my top five NCAA Tourney Championship games ever:

(5) 1985–Villanova shocks Georgetown: This game didn’t have a signature moment  but the Wildcats shot an amazing 78.6% from the field and made a remarkable 22 free throws yet only beat Pat Ewing and his Hoyas by two points??!—Supernova played a perfect game at the perfect time.

(4) 1982–North Carolina over Georgetown. This was the game Mike Jordan turned into Michael Jordan hitting nothing but net for the huge game winner but who knows what may have happened if the Hoyas Freddy Brown hadn’t turned the ball over after that?

jordan game winner

(3) 1987–Indiana beats Syracuse. Gotta love the eighties where like it’s music, the Big Dance delivered so many one hit wonders like the Hoosiers’ Keith Smart who became a household name with the game winning shot. Crazy Bobby Knight would never win another title.

(2) 1983–NC State stuns Houston. The Cougars had two future NBA Hall of Famers in Akeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler but the Wolfpack had Valvano Magic where the Pack looked as stunned as the rest of us when Lorenzo Charles gave us the easy game winning dunk in what still is the biggest upset ever…but now no longer the best game.

valvano celebrates

(1) Funny–this could have been Butler beating Duke back in 2010 if Gordon Hayward’s half court shot falls at the buzzer but you gotta give it to Villanova part Deux.. While the others had great game winning shots too—this one gave us more from start to finish and you gotta love seeing a team like the Wildcats win with guys who stuck it out far more than one season in this one and done era–refreshing.

GENO’S GREATNESS: While we can debate the greatest guys finale—no debate on the women’s side regarding dominance.  This UConn program is unbelievable where you wonder if its head coach will ever want a new challenge?

Head Coach Geno Auriemma has now won four straight titles and 11 overall —what more can he do?

geno auriemma

I was thinking wouldn’t it be fun to see what he could do coaching the men–say he took over the Vanderbilt or Pittsburgh programs? Who knows but it would be interesting.

Maybe he wouldn’t relate as well to the guys or maybe it would be another building block to further enhance his legacy as the game’s best ever?

MERLE HAGGARD: 2016 is proving to be quite the downer in the music world. From David Bowie to Glenn Frey and now we say goodbye to Merle Haggard.

The Mount Rushmore of Country Music greats has been hit hard in recent years with the passing of George Jones, Waylon Jennings and now Haggard who many regard as the best songwriter of all time.

merle haggard

Sadly the famed outlaw passed on his 79th birthday but leaves us with more than 30 number one hits. They don’t make guys like Merle Haggard anymore who more than lived a full life.

Arrested for burglary at 21, he was jailed in San Quentin where he saw a young peformer named Johnny Cash peform—-his life would never be the same.

My first exposure to Haggard was listening to eight tracks and cassettes in my Dad’s car growing up. Up until his death, it was fun to see him tour with Willie Nelson.

These country legends never retire to play golf, they sing and peform all the way to their finish line.

Rest in peace Merle Haggard—-a one of a kind.

NOBODY ASKED ME, BUT…..Baseball will always be my favorite sport and it’s first week of the season explained why. Unlike any other sport—when you buy a ticket you always have a chance to see something you’ve never seen before.

I hate the replay rule in baseball but watching the Rays third game of the year end on a controversial replay challenge call–reversing an error which could have brought home the eventual winning run only to allow Tampa Bay to turn a game winning double play?!

For crying out loud, the Padres are the first team ever to be shutout in their first three games of the year?

And then you have this guy…..

trevor story

Rockies Rookie shortstop Trevor Story who amazingly became the first player ever to hit a home run in his first –count em—three games!  Story also is the first to hit a homer in his first four hits of the season…..!

You never know when you may see in the best game ever—possibly a no hitter, a perfect game, maybe a triple play or someone hitting the cycle.

Or one of the above—only in week one.

There is nothing like baseball—even after only a week back in the books.

EXTRA POINT: Great article recently in Sports Illustrated on the rise and fall of Tiger Woods. Despite all of his setbacks both personally and physically, I still believe the fact he is only 40 years old—I still maintain Tiger has at least one major left in him….

UNTIL NEXT BLOG,

Mike Nabors

@mikenabors

PHOTO CREDITS: Kevin Jairaf,usa today, rollingstone.com, getty images, collegemagazine.com, guardian-angel.kids.com, travelingmamas.com, digitaltrends.com, aveleyman.com,

 

 

 

 

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