1.Father's Day was this past weekend. Growing up, the focus of that Sunday afternoon was always the U.S. Open and watching the back-9 as the leaders came down the stretch. It was something that my father and I, along with my brother with my mom reading or doing something in the background, would do every year. Watching the best golfers in the world take on the most difficult courses imaginable right next to my dad. I am sure many other sons have this experience as well, and it is one that I now get to cherish with my own son, who while not even 3-years old, won't remember any of this probably. But I will. Even if it is just for a few minutes here and there, as he plays cars and runs around the house like a maniac, just having him sit next to me for a few minutes watching "gof" as he likes to say is something that I look forward to doing for many years.
2.I can imagine that the father/son relationship between Art Briles and his son Kendall is completely different, but altogether similar to what I have experienced in my life, first as a son, and then as a father. I to lost my father too early in his life, though I was 29 when he passed. Before my son was born, those few years before that were incredibly hard and difficult. How do you celebrate father's day without a day? Now though, it is bitter sweet and luckily getting sweeter by the year. I have another child on the way (a little princess to love and spoil...god help me) and the joys I have as a father are starting to become more powerful than the pain I had as a son.
Art and Kendall though have an interesting relationship, one that focuses on the "coach" aspect much more than I could ever imagine. Calling your own father coach, working with him every day, and eventually becoming his equal as a head coach (either taking over for dear old dad at Baylor or moving on before Art is ready to leave), Kendall Briles will be a head coach. You can see it in him right now. Art was right, someone was going to give Kendall a larger role, probably as an offensive coordinator. He had to promote a key member of his staff up the ladder and give him his shot in a larger chair...even if the person occupying that chair is your son. I can't imagine the joy of your son following in your footsteps in his career and working with you, as I have a long way to go till that point. I am just worried about him not falling down as much right now, with his whole life in front of him. So, Happy Fathers Day to all of you great dad's.
3.I have been thinking a bit about the Baylor Bears offense and what it could look like under the younger Briles. Some are expecting the same we have seen the past few years with Coach Philip Montgomery calling the shots, while others expect the young and brash Kendall to put a more aggressive stamp on the Bears offense. I think it will be somewhere in the middle of these two. Anytime you have a fresh voice and mind calling the plays, there will be adjustments to the DNA of the offense, but that doesn't mean a completely different animal. The Bears offense looked very similar to what it had in years past in the Cotton Bowl, though the Bears passing attack dominated that game due to how Michigan State defended.
4.Speaking of the U.S. Open, the course this weekend (Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington) has certainly received its share of criticism. For me though, it was an amazing course. Sure, it didn't look like a traditional golf course in the US, and especially different when compared to the lush greens of The Masters. It looked, and played, like a course across the pond. The drabness of the greens and fairways fall short when compared to Augusta, no doubt, but that should not take away from the pure beauty of the game. To each his own I guess.
5.Finally, I end with another father. Rico Gathers, the Bears star forward, as recently charged and arrested for burglary of a Wal-Mart On June 10th. The Senior forward is one of the best rebounders and interior players in the nation, and was looked at as a possible Big 12 player of the year candidate for the upcoming 2015-16 season. He allegedly stole $171 of household goods from a Waco area Wal-Mart, including 2 pillows, a tote bag, a garbage can, and a water dispenser. The most worrisome part of the story to me is that Wal-Mart employees believed that Gathers had stolen items on previous occasions as well.
Rico is a new father, getting quite a bit of press during the Bears postseason run for his young child. In some of those articles, he and his wife stated that times could be quite difficult with him not being able to work. Supporting just yourself on an athletic scholarship can be troublesome, so I can only imagine that support a family of three is almost impossible. Some have already started to use this as an argument for why athletes should be paid money. Personally, I do not agree with that. Rico has made a horrible choice, even if the choice was made with his family in mind. Wrong choices with the right intentions are still wrong. I agree that athletes should be paid for, but using a wrong decision as the positive argument for it is not something that I am willing to do.
Scott Drew has stated that he wants the legal process to play out before any punishments are handed down by him and Baylor. That is the correct decision. With this being a misdemeanor charge, slightly higher than a traffic ticket in the grand scale of things, I believe that the punishment for Gathers will be light. Probably 2-3 games suspended, and maybe as many as 5. I trust Coach Drew to make the right decision with all of the facts, rather than me or anyone else saying he should do something when we don't know all of the pertinent information. Still though, this is not a good way to start the Summer.