This Week’s Book Review – The Reunion at Herb’s Café

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) After my review appears on Sunday, I post the previous week’s review here on Sunday.

Book Review

‘The Reunion’ proves to be a delight for all readers

By MARK LARDAS... [Read More]

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College Football 2019 – Week 6

October has arrived, and this first weekend of the new month gives us some good games to look forward to.

In the Atlantic Coast Conference, the North Carolina Tar Heels 🦶 head to Atlanta to face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 🐝, the Miami Hurricanes 🌪  host the Virginia Tech Hokies 🦃 , the Boston College Eagles 🦅 are on the road at the Louisville Cardinals 🐦, and the Duke Blue Devils 🔵 😈 defend home against the visiting Pittsburgh Panthers 🐆 .... [Read More]

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An Ode to Kent Hance

Who is this Kent Hance of whom I speak? He is the former Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System, a former congressman from West Texas, and the man who destroyed Texas Tech football when he fired the legendary Mike Leach in December 2009. Herewith, my poem (with apologies to Percy Bysshe Shelley):

Hanceymandias... [Read More]

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College Football 2019 – Week 5

Autumn has finally arrived, but the action on the field (and the sidelines) remains as hot as ever! Here are some of this week’s games.

The Atlantic Coast Conference has the Syracuse Orange 🍊 defending home against the Holy Cross Crusaders 🗡, the North Carolina Tar Heels 🦶 host the defending champion #1 Clemson Tigers 🐅, the N.C. State Wolfpack 🐺 face the Florida State Seminoles 🏹 on the road, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 🐝 are also on the road at the Temple Owls 🦉, and the #10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish ☘️ have a showdown with the #18 Virginia Cavaliers 🤺 in South Bend.... [Read More]

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College Football 2019 – Week 4

Week 4 is upon us, as is summer’s end. As the Autumn equinox looms, the competition on the field is red-hot, as are the sirens of the sidelines. 😎

In Atlantic Coast Conference action, the Pittsburgh Panthers 🐆 host the #15 UCF Knights 🛡, the Louisville Cardinals 🐦 play the Florida State Seminoles 🏹 in Tallahassee, the Boston College Eagles 🦅 seek to bounce back against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 🏰 , the N.C. State Wolfpack 🐺 play the visiting Ball State Cardinals 🐦, and the Charlotte 49ers ⛏ take on the defending champion #1 Clemson Tigers 🐅.... [Read More]

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College Football 2019 – Week 3

As the third week of the college football season unfolds, summer may be drawing to an end but the competition on the field is heating up. Here are some of this weekend’s games.

In the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Syracuse Orange 🍊 are hosting the defending champion #1 Clemson Tigers 🐅, the Florida State Seminoles 🏹 are on the road at the #25 Virginia Cavaliers ⚔️, the N.C. State Wolfpack 🐺 head to Morgantown to face the West Virginia Mountaineers ⛰, the #13 Penn State Nittany Lions 🦁 play the visiting Pittsburgh Panthers 🐆,  and the doughty Demon Deacons 😈 ✝️ of Wake Forest defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels 🦶 24-18 on Friday night.... [Read More]

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College Football 2019 – Week 2

As Week 2 of the college football season gets underway, we can look forward to more thrills, chills, and highlights galore!  Let’s take a look at some of this week’s featured matchups.

The Atlantic Coast Conference has the Maryland Terrapins 🐢 hosting the #21 Syracuse Orange 🍊, the Western Carolina Catamounts 😸 on the road at the N.C. State Wolfpack 🐺, the South Florida Bulls 🐂 at the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 🐝, and the #12 Texas A&M Aggies 🤠 in a showdown with the defending champion #1 Clemson Tigers 🐅.... [Read More]

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Iron Men

Watching sports like football is the closest the average man comes to the contemplation of eternal things. The game is one of the only places left where we still find cheating to be cheating. We find glory in what is earned. We find corruption and repentance, honor, competence, vanity, and genuine humility.” – Father James V. Schall (1928-2019)

Father Schall, a prominent Catholic philosopher from Georgetown University, died earlier this year at the age of ninety-one.  At the time of Schall’s birth, American football was nearing the end of its childhood.  In the 1930s, football would begin to emerge as one of this country’s most popular sports.... [Read More]

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College Football 2019 – Week 1

At long last, the new college football season is here! Every team will start anew hoping to achieve victory and glory, and cheerleaders’ pom-poms will be shaking from coast to coast.

In the Atlantic Coast Conference, the defending champion #1 Clemson Tigers 🐅  defeated the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 🐝 on Thursday night, 52-14. On Saturday the Florida State Seminoles 🏹 play the Boise State Broncos 🐴  in Tallahassee, the South Carolina Gamecocks 🐓 head to Bank of America stadium in Charlotte to play the North Carolina Tar Heels 🦶, and the Louisville Cardinals 🐦 host the #9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish ☘️.... [Read More]

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Air Raid!

The date was October 26, 1985 and the place was the great West Texas city of El Paso. I was ten years old and in the fifth grade, and like most El Pasoans was looking forward to the upcoming college basketball season. The UTEP (University of Texas at El Paso) Miners basketball team, coached by the legendary Don Haskins, was the pride and joy of the Sun City. They regularly ranked in the AP Top Twenty (as the rankings were then called) and were expected to not only compete for a Western Athletic Conference (WAC) championship every year, but to also go deep into the NCAA Tournament.

Expectations for UTEP Miners football, by contrast, were lower. Much lower. Gridiron-wise, UTEP was college football Siberia: a place where coaching careers went to die. Such was the fate that loomed over head coach Bill Yung during the fall of 1985. The Miners were 0-6 and the team they were slated to play on that last weekend of October was none other than the #7-ranked Cougars of Brigham Young University (BYU), the defending national champions. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was expecting a blowout. Coach Yung likely felt the same way, but not his young offensive coordinator, a native of San Antonio named Hal Mumme (pronounced “mummy”). For some time, Mumme had been studying BYU’s passing plays, in particular a play called the Y-cross, which the Cougars never expected to see used against them. But Mumme did, and that plus an inspired Miners defense resulted in a shocking upset over BYU, 23-16.... [Read More]

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