Sunday, October 17, 2010

Role Models

I wanted to follow up my last blog about things I am passionate about with a couple of other topics I am passionate about.

If you follow baseball you may have seen this guy a lot more lately because of the Texas Rangers. Although I'm a Houston Astros fan I couldn't be happier for the Rangers. If you ask most guys who grew up in Texas in the 80's and 90's who their role model is, a large percentage would pick Nolan Ryan. How many of you collected baseball cards like me and had a stack of regular cards, cards worth something (like the Ken Griffey Jr. Upper Deck Card), and then a special collection just for Nolan Ryan? I can remember crying when I was six when the 'Stros lost in '86 to the Mets in a great series. Side note: There have been a lot of bad moments in Astros history, but I still love them. And of course who can forget Robin Venture trying to rush the mound and getting beat up?!?!? I must have seen that picture on about 500 walls while I was in college, including mine.

There are so many role models out there that consistently let us down by getting in trouble with the law, taking steriods, or in the case of Tiger Woods... To this day Nolan Ryan has been nothing short of a class act with a great Texas accent and several pitching records that will not be broken for some time. I enjoyed watching him play for so many years growing up in Houston and I hope his team wins the World Series this year. My dream is for the Stros to play the Rangers in the World Series, and of course the Stros win in 7!

Speaking of role models I was in Nashville last weekend visiting my Grandma on my Mom's side and 1st cousins on my Dad's side. My Grandma is not doing too well but she was still so sweet and nice to visit with, I hope she gets to feeling better soon. After visiting her during the day I went to my cousin Celeste's house for a pig roast, homemade beer, and a chance to see a lot of the family. We had a great time and I wanted to put up a couple of pictures of my cousins, their kids, and my Mom.

I visited my Grandpa's grave site which was an emotional experience to say the least, and it got me thinking about both Grandpa's of mine that have since passed. We throw around the phrase role model or hero pretty often in sports, and I know I'm the first to admit that I forget who the real heroes are. My Grandpa (in Tennessee as we called him) was a Korean War veteran and served in the Army for over 20 years in various roles. My Grandpa (in Houston as we called him) served in the Navy during World War II on the USS Mississippi and fought in one of the largest and probably last naval battles ever, the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Seeing thousands of grave stones this weekend, all who served in the military, was truly a life changing event. I'd love to go to Normandy one day, I'm sure that is an emotional experience. If you haven't thanked a veteran recently please do so, they sacrificed for the freedom we all enjoy every day.

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