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Go Blackhawks!

I begin today’s post with an incredible, but heartbreaking story.  As a lover of all things sports related, I would be remiss if I did not mention the tragic story that unfolded last night in a high school gym in Fennville, MI.  With a perfect season on the line, the Fennville High School boys basketball team took on Bridgman in hopes of ending the season undefeated.  With the score tied at 55 in overtime, Fennville’s star player, junior Wes Leonard, scored a game winning lay-up to give his team the victory.  As fans and players celebrated on the court, Leonard collapsed and was quickly tended to by paramedics.

The young man was rushed to a local hospital where two hours later, he passed away.  Doctors have said that he arrived at the hospital in cardiac arrest but an autopsy is scheduled to be performed to determine the cause of his death.  To his friends and family, my thoughts and prayers are with you.  To go from such celebration to devastation in moments must be indescribable.  His game-winning basket to seal his team’s perfect season will be the stuff of legend for years to come.

While I generally try to keep these posts upbeat; as something of a sports historian, I couldn’t overlook this story.  I didn’t know this young man, his team, or even his town; but his in-game heroics deserved to be honored.  I’ve never been very good at handling tragedy; in fact I usually use humor to help me through tough situations.  With that being said, I think the best way for me to honor this young man is to turn the vibe of this post around and do what I do best; make you laugh.

Which brings me to this week’s edition of Follow-Up Friday.

First, a brief update on the list:

#1-3: You’d think that I would be making progress on these since they are the first things on the list and I see them every time I look at it.  Well, you’d be wrong.  After some ominous mold was discovered in our basement a couple of weeks ago, a wrecking crew of sorts came in and dissected the room.  Walls were cut out, furniture moved or removed, and the treadmill was relocated to its upright position and shoved in between two couches.  As of this morning, the mold is now weeks removed however, the treadmill remains in storage mode.  No more excuses!  Time to get back at it!  Loyal readers, I apologize for my laziness; you deserve better and I will be better.

#11: After a last-minute change of plans, karaoke night was cancelled in February but it is back on for March.  Mark your calendars, find a babysitter, ask your parole officer for one night out.  Look for me to make my singing debut on March 31st at Looney’s Pub in Bel Air!

#12: While I’m not exactly at the point where I’ll be melting faces at my karaoke performance later this month, I do feel that progress is being made.  I had my third lesson with Scott this week and he agrees that I am coming along.  Although it’s possible he’s just saying that to make me feel better.  What does he care, he’s getting paid, he’ll tell me anything!

#13: Page 101.  At least I’ve made it nearly 1/8 of the way through.  WINNING!!

#30: Ok, so the big news of the week was the addition of #30 to the list.  First, thanks so much to all of you for the support.  I expected to see a sudden drop in my subscription total after this one was revealed but surprisingly, the reaction was 100% positive.  I’ve even received some ideas for book themes.  One reader suggested a children’s book.  Another says that animals are a great subject to write about.  Yet another suggested I take my “bucket list” idea and turn that into a novel.  Great suggestions everyone!  My favorite though, came from my sister Stacey in North Carolina who suggested I combine all of these ideas into one.  So without further ado, here is a brief synopsis of a potential idea.  Let me know what you think.

Rusty, a 9-year-old schnauzer, is faced with the impending reality that he about to turn 10 (which is like 70 in people years!).  His buddy Rex, a boxer 3 years his elder, who’s done more living in his 12 years than a litter of labs ever could, suggests Rusty come up with a bucket list.  “10 Before 10” he called it, as he explained the concept to the depressed, aging pup.  Re-energized by the idea, Rusty leaves his home in the suburbs on a mission to see the sights, sample the best dog food, and pee on some of the most recognizable monuments in the world.  Who will he meet along his journey?  Will he complete his list before the big 1-0?  Join Rusty, Rex and many new friends along the way.  It should be a barking good time!