Concerning Fin, Dad, and The Toe

FinWinsThe picture says it all. OK, not all. I’ll say something more. I love Michael Finley. And I’m so happy today to know that he now owns an NBA Championship ring. More than Dirk and Nash, I’ve always liked Fin. I’ve always admired his humility and his attitude and his hustle. Nobody worked harder, nobody practiced longer, and nobody took it more personally when they lost than Finley. For as long as he was in Dallas, the Mavericks were his team. Maybe it’s because he was the best player during those years when the Mavs were the Tampa Bay DevilRays of the NBA. Maybe it’s his maturity and leadership skills. Maybe it’s that it was so obvious he was the only one for so long with any talent on that squad. He was just so intense. FinSpursDedicated. Passionate. He could score a double-double, but if the Mavs lost, he’d blame himself for not doing more. He could also go 2-20 with 10 turnovers and he’d still be one of the first ones in the lockerroom to answer questions and talk with us about his performance. I was calling for the Mavericks to cut him or trade him a year before they did. He was becoming more frequently injured, his injuries were taking longer to heal, and it was taking him longer and longer each time to find his shot. They needed to get younger and more athletic. And they did. And I’m glad. But I’ll always love Michael Finley. And I was so glad last night to see him get the ring. And he got it before Dirk and Nash.

 I didn’t watch hardly any of the series. It’s been way too busy at church and at the house. But we all sat down and watched the 4th quarter of last night’s clincher. Whitney’s my sports buddy. She watches it all and eats it up. Valerie and Carley will only watch when they can sense it’s something important, when a “big trophy” is involved. At one point last night, when the Cavaliers’ crowd was chanting “Deee-fense! Deee-fense!” Carley asked me, “Are they saying Cheetos?” That’s what it’s like watching a game at our place.

Four titles in nine years. The Spurs are the oldest team in the NBA. How do they keep doing it? And why can’t the younger, more athletic, more talented Mavs do it? Concentration. Intensity. Passion. With 30-seconds to play and the game virtually over, there’s Manu Ginobili diving into the bench to save a ball off the baseline. Tim Duncan had done the same thing on the sideline a couple of possessions earlier when they had an eight-point lead. It was just the opposite of watching the Mavericks get outhustled and outefforted (I just made that word up) against Nellie’s Warriors. The Spurs are not my favorite team. I’m not a big Duncan or Popovich fan. But they play ball the right way.

 Now let me introduce you to my dad. JohnEdward

Dad loves talking about the weather and gas prices. He’s the one who taught me the importance of having a rain gage in the backyard. He taught me how to throw a spiral, how to shoot a free throw, and how to hold a tennis racket. He taught me how to drive and how to change the oil in the car and the filter in the air conditioner. My dad taught me how to lead singing and how to pray. He showed me how to love my wife and how to care for my children by the selfless way he loved my mom and showered us kids with blessings. He faithfully studied the Bible with us every morning and night. I’m so thankful for my Father and for the legacy of his name and his faith that I diligently strive to uphold. I love you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day!

There are 76 days until football season. And #76 is Lou “The Toe” Groza, the best kicker to ever wear double-digits on his uni.TheToe He played for the Cleveland Browns from 1946 – 1967—a 21 year career during the time pro football was in the formative stages. He played in nine NFL championship games and won three. He’s still the all-time leading scorer in Browns history. He’s a pro football Hall of Famer. And it’s the Lou Groza Award that every year goes to the best kicker in college football. The Toe was the NFL’s first great kicker. And he’s our #76.

Finally, our coyote is still at-large. I saw her at 7:15 this morning crossing Mid-Cities Blvd coming onto church property near our sign. She likes to hang out in the amphitheater area on the west side of the building. I don’t think she’s there to pray.




  1. Richard

    So happy to find your website. I found it on Jimmy Mitchell’s blog. Jimmy and I went to the same church in OK. Sounds like you and your family are doing great. I saw that you graduated, correct? Congratulations. I saw that on Tiersa’s site. I hope you guys are doing great. Say hey to the fam for us.
    Richard Wiginton

  2. Jimbo

    This is the first of many comments on your blog. Just trying to get you ready for the inevitable. I wanted to weigh in on the sports stuff. I have to say that I am probably in the same boat with Gnarls and Val. I only show up for the good parts. The rest I leave to avid fans like you and Jim G.

  3. Allan


    Please tell me you’re not getting your spiritual direction from Jimmy’s blog! I miss terribly our 6a Tuesday morning Bible study and prayer time with you and the others in Mesquite. Tell Melanie ‘hi’ from the Stanglins. God bless y’all.

  4. Allan

    Jimmy Shay!

    Please don’t force us to have to put screening filters on this website! Please!

  5. mom

    Thanks for the invitation, we will see you soon. I’ll call you in a day or two.

  6. Liz Moore

    I’ve been looking for your blog for a while now. I knew you said in Tulsa you were talking about starting one. Thanks for the email so I could find it! It’s sounds like things are going great! We couldn’t be happier for all of you. I was looking at your pics and noticed the one with the dog! Am I to assume you finally gave in to a dog?? 🙂 We need to get together soon.

    On the sports side, I always liked Finley too, but I can’t say I’m glad he got the ring first. The Mavs were sickening in the playoffs, lets just hope they learned a lot from it and don’t embarrass themselves or us fans like that again. As far as rings go, I am ecstatic that Nash did not get his before Dirk!! The lousy traitor!! 🙂

    Give everyone a hug for us and tell them we said hi. Love you guys!

  7. Allan

    No dog! That picture is from a couple of years ago in Arlington with the dog from across the street.

    No dog!

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