Archive for January, 2008

Making a resolution to show more love – Terry Pluto

On New Year’s Eve, my mother and I would stay up until midnight. Guy Lombardo was on the black-and-white television with the rabbit-ear antenna while my father supplied his own soundtrack by snoring on the sofa during “Auld Lang Syne.”

As the ball dropped on Times Square, my mother would hug me and say, “I’m glad it’s a new year. This has to be better than last year.”

She usually had tears in her eyes as those words left her lips.

Not every year was a bad year, but my parents had a rocky marriage. I some times felt as if I was living in the middle of two tribes that had been at war for centuries. They both loved me. When it came to each other, that was a different story.

I wish my parents had made a New Year’s resolution to work on their marriage, or at least talk about their problems without screaming, slamming doors and turning the weather frigid even in July. I don’t recall praying much as a child, but I’m sure there were times when I asked God if Mommy and Daddy could fight less.

I thought about that as I read the New Year’s resolutions posted on http://www.beliefnet.com, one of my favorite Web sites. One person wanted to “attend Sunday Mass more.” Another wrote: “I need to get my linces [driver’s license] back and get my GED.”

A third had to get out of debt. A fourth, a rather thin woman in a video, said, “I need to limit my chocolate intake to twice a day.”

I appreciated the guy who wrote, “I need to talk to my family without using bad language.” He also wanted to deal with some “compulsive behaviors.” I was relieved he didn’t go into detail. There is such a thing as too much information.

All of these resolutions had merit, although some (chocolate only twice a day?) seemed a bit modest.

A woman wrote, “I have signed up to be a chemo angel and have just received my first assignment.” One of the best ways to get out of a personal funk is to find someone in worse shape – and help that person. Aiding a cancer patient will do it.

I don’t remember my mother making any resolutions. Over the years, I’ve made some, from exercising more and eating better to studying the Bible. I’m also the same guy who has said the most important thing in my life should be my relationship with God and with those who are close to me.

But how often do I make any promises about being a better friend, a better husband? I’d rather say, “I need to cut down on the Diet Pepsi.” I don’t want to think about how I can be toughest on those who love me the most, how I can show more patience with a stranger than a good friend.

I love this from 1 Peter 4, verses 7-8: “Be clear-minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply because love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to each other without grumbling.”

Good advice. Now I just have to do it.

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Win 10 and Out!

You know it occurred to me, you win 10 games in the NFL you ought to make the playoffs.  There are at least a half a dozen teams who won ten or less and are in the playoffs.  The Browns choked.  Little consolation they had a good season.  You should see their schedule next year.  In addition to the usual tough division schedule against Pittsburgh, Cinci and Baltimore, they have Indy, Dallas and the Giants at home, and they play in  Jacksonville, Tennessee, Washington and Philly on the road.  Good luck.

Now they have a QB quandry, or quagmire.  Will success spoil Cleveland?  Will they screw this up?  I don’t think so.  They have a bright young GM in Phil Savage who did have a few things go his way.  They have the best young receiver in the league in Braylon Edwards who was at the Capitol One Bowl on New Years Day cheering on his beloved Wolverines.  They have a 10 year Pro Bowl left tackle in Joe Thomas.  They will resign Jamal Lewis, they have Kellen Winslow Jr. and all the rest of the offense will be back but will DA?  Or will they hand the reigns over to Brady Quinn. 

There is some work to do on offense.  They need a cold weather game plan. (see Cinci game).  But the primary work to do this off season is to build a defense.  They have some salary cap room but they don’t have a 1st round draft pick.  They need a defensive line.  They are adequate at linebacker and in the defensive backfield but the line really stinks. 

They are already the pick to win the division next year as the Steelers inhale the gas pipe, the Ravens have fired their coach and Cinci, well despite their week 16 win are still the Bungals.  At least there is no debate over the coach this year.  Or will there be if Parcells calls Romeo to rebuild his Dolphins?

 I must be off.  Well, hope you enjoyed my most recent photo!  Pretty good likeness, don’t you think? Oh and yes the tattoo is real…