Sports has been a big part of my life. I think what it breaks down to is I am a very competitive person and playing sports is one way it manifiest itself. I’m not a great athlete but I am a great competitor in sports and in business. However, there is some athleticism in my family because my younger brother was drafted by the Boston Celtic the year before Len Bias was drafted. He was as a free agent for the Packer and Bills.
Here’s a short resume of my sports life.
Football – Since I developed football software (coachsoffice.com) for coaches, it’s no suprise that this is at the top of my list. My two favorite teams I watch on the weekends are the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ohio State Buckeyes. I lived in the Cincinnati most of my life. The Steelers used my software for more than a decade until Todd Haley came on board as the OC and since then they haven’t won a play-off game. Go figure! Jim Tressel used the software when the Buckeyes won the National Championship.
The only organized football I played was WR for the Butler County Steelers Semi-Pro team. They drew players between the Dayton and Cincinnati area. There where 80 guys that tried out for the team and only kept 35. Then was back when there was no Internet, iPhones or Cable TV. We did have helments with face guards. At the time I had two kids and one in the nest. I don’t know what I was thinking but I came to my senses after one full season.
Softball – Played on a real good church team. We were in a couple of leagues during the week and then tournaments on the week-end. When I look back on those times it was fun for me and the kids but it was a bit self indugent. Our team also played at a number of prisons in Ohio. We where always reminded not to jump over the fence to retreive a ball. Never lost a game against the prisonners but did lose a few players that were on the Most Wanted list.
Basketball – When the softball season was over the same group of guys played in a church and city league. Also did the prison thing. There was only one prison team we couldn’t beat and that was LCI. We could hold our own after three quarters but ran out of steam in the 4th. The stands where always full with over 200 prisoners. I think it was best that we did loss those games.
Volleyball, Ping Pong – Played volleyball as a spiker in a competitive industrial league for the company. Also played in a Ping Pong league sponcer by AK Steel. There were a dozen Japanese employees that worked at the corporate office . The league held a tournament at the local YMCA. There where 2 bractkets with 8 players for the USA and 8 for Japan. The winner from each bracket played each other for the championship. The Japanese fly over a few good players (for a business meeting?) from the corporate headquarters in Japan. We played three sets. I lost the third set. Every muscle in my body ached for a next. Don’t tell me that Ping Pong is not a physically demanding sport.
Racketball – This was my favorite one-on-one sports until something bad happened. The last time I played resulted in two broken wrist and twelve stetches in my forehead. I ran as fast I could to dig out a lob shot off the flexible glass back wall. I hit the fall and the wall won. I had to be taken out of the building in a stretcher. My grandson was mesmerized and wanted to play with the rods and pins in my arm. After a 3 month recovery I bought a set of Ping clubs and took up golfing for the third time.
Golf – Golf was and still is a very frustrating sport for me. It’s a sport of luck and mistakes. The more you play the luckier you’ll get. The fewer mistakes you make the more you’ll want to play again. I finally got hooked on the game until I got I had two lower back surgeries. I can only play 9 holes once a week. So now I try to walk my dog Akiak everyday. Life is still good.