Archive for November, 2010

Bayou Classic (37th Annual)

Saturday November 27, 2010 is the day the 37th annual Bayou Classic will be played. The Bayou Classic is a grid-iron grudge match between Grambling State University and Southern University. The series is tied at 18 wins apiece (18-18).

The first time I ever saw GSU or SU play was over 20 years ago. I believe I saw one of the teams playing on BET. Then I heard about the Bayou Classic and I’ve been hooked ever since.

In all of sports there is no game I would rather watch, this is my don’t miss game of the year. Thanks to State Farm Insurance I will be able to see the game on NBC (at 1 CST). This is the 15th year that State Farm has sponsored the game and the 20th year it will be broadcast on NBC (Thanks guys).

When I first started watching the Bayou Classic Eddie Robinson was still the coach of Grambling, if you don’t know who Eddie Robinson is, do yourself a favor and look him up. He is one of the greatest coaches in Football history. He was one of those coaches that cared about his players as people and not just as players.

What makes this game so much fun for me is the fact that I really don’t care who wins the game, I always start off rooting for GSU (because of Eddie Robinson) but I cheer for all the great plays (and there are usually many) and I end up rooting for who ever is losing, hoping they make a come back. On top of seeing a great football game, halftime features the battle of the bands, which is an event not to be missed.

This year, according to the records, SU will have it’s work cut out for them. GSU is 8-2 while SU is 2-8 but I have learned over the years that when it comes to grudge matches the records don’t mean a lot.

So if your not busy, or even if you are, take the time and treat yourself to an annual event that any sports fan will fall in love with.

The Ghosts of Cannae by Robert L. O’Connell

The Ghosts of Cannae: Hannibal and the Darkest Hour of the Roman RepublicThe Ghosts of Cannae: Hannibal and the Darkest Hour of the Roman Republic by Robert L. O’Connell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the book to read if you want to learn about the most brutal and bloodiest day of battle in history. At Cannae, Hannibal traps the Roman army (approx. 86,000) and the slaughter begins. The ghosts of Cannae refers to the few Roman soldiers that survived the battle and were banished for their failure/cowardice.

The book starts with what we know and how we know it. Robert L. O’Connell tells the story of the battle and the major players but he also delves into the mind set of Hannibal and the Romans (as best he could) to help us understand the “Hows and Whys” behind the war between Carthage and Rome.

At times the book feels a bit daunting with all the unfamiliar Latin names and through history the names of places have changed. Even though at times you feel like you are reading a history book O’Connell does an excellent job of personalizing the major players enough that the book tends to read like a novel. The story covers the entire “Second Punic War”. But the battle at Cannae is the center piece and the turning point of the war.

This is an impressively written story about a legendary battle, and the lessons learned from it are as relevant today as ever. I believe that Robert L. O’Connell has done his homework and has written about the most accurate version of this war as possible.

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What a Difference a Dog Makes by Dana Jennings

What a Difference a Dog Makes: Big Lessons on Life, Love and Healing from a Small PoochWhat a Difference a Dog Makes: Big Lessons on Life, Love and Healing from a Small Pooch by Dana Jennings
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book isn’t just about the lessons the writer, Dana Jennings, learned from his dog while battling cancer. The story reads more like a biography told through the pets of his life. Dana Jennings tells stories about many of the animals in his life. Bijou, a miniature poodle, is the dog that teaches him the (zen) lessons that helps him get through his cancer treatments.

Dana Jennings writes with humor and his writing is a perfect balance between being personal enough to make it uniquely his and yet broad enough that anyone can and will relate. Anyone that has ever owned (or been owned) by a pet will totally enjoy this book, and anyone that has ever had a serious illness while owning a dog will relate to the healing power of a dog.

As a previous dog owner and a current cat owner, this book was a hit and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The only chapter that was a slight miss for me was the “Cat Chapter” it wasn’t much of a nod to cats, but then again it’s a book about the difference a dog makes.

I would recommend this book to anyone with or without a dog (or cancer).

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