“That’s all I can stands. I can’t stands no more.”

I’m going to get in trouble for this one but to quote a famous animated sailor, “That’s all I can stands. I can’t stands no more.”

Last Friday night in the Lone Star State, the Aledo Bearcats squeaked past the Western Hills Cougars by a score of 91-0. You read that correctly, ninety-one to nothing. Zero. Nada. Zilch.

91-0

Are you kidding me?

The coach ought to be ashamed of himself for running up the score on the helpless Cougars, right? Well, to quote a college football icon, “Not so fast, my friend.”

Did you know Lee Corso was roommates at Florida State with football player, actor, and bandit Burt Reynolds?

Did you know Lee Corso was roommates at Florida State with football player, actor, and bandit Burt Reynolds?

It’s easy to look at the score and assume that the Bearcats displayed poor sportsmanship, but we all know what assuming does.

Apparently Aledo’s Head Coach, Tim Buchanan, called off the dogs early. He began substituting players in the first quarter, let the clock run continuously, and instructed his players to call fair catches after back to back punt returns. By the end of the game, every player on the roster had seen playing time.

They only threw the ball 10 times the entire game and nine different running backs carried the ball an average of 2.6 times apiece.

Should the coaches have told the players not to run hard? Absolutely not! That’s when injuries happen. Should the coaches have told the players to take a knee? Heck no! The Bearcats ran the ball, and the Cougars couldn’t tackle them. It’s as simple as that. Should the coaches have told the defense to let the opposing team score? No way! That’s insane. Should they have turned the ball over purposely? No coach would ever do that, right?

Coach Buchanan did everything he could think of not to score.

One of the parents of the defeated Cougars filed an official complaint of bullying against the entire Bearcat coaching staff.

Are you kidding me?

Western Hills Coach John Naylor said he disagrees with the allegations that his team was bullied.

“I think the game was handled fine,” Western Hills coach John Naylor said. “They’re No. 1 for a reason, and I know Coach Buchanan. We’re fighting a real uphill battle right now.

“We just ran into a buzz saw, you know,” Naylor said. “Aledo just plays hard. And they’re good sports, and they don’t talk at all. They get after it, and that’s the way football is supposed to be played in Texas.”

The parent set a poor example for his child, even if his heart was in the right place. Some people react emotionally, whereas logical thinking folks react, well, logically.

If he doesn’t want him to lose or to experience the agony of defeat, he needs to withdraw his child from the team, from school, and from life. Perhaps he could live in his parents’ basement for the rest of his life. He’ll be safe there.

This guy is likely so sensitive he goes around crying wolf or cougar or bearcat, oh my!

In life there are winners and losers. It’s as simple as that. Most winners have lost in various aspects of life but learned from their failures and became successful down the road.

Last year, Auburn was 3-9 and suffered a humiliating loss to Texas A & M who put 63 points on the board against the defenseless Tigers. Last Saturday, Auburn avenged that embarrassing loss and defeated the seventh ranked Aggies, on the Aggies’ home field no less and now stand at 6-1 on the season.

The thrill of victory after avenging the previous  year's shellacking!

The thrill of victory after avenging the previous year’s shellacking!

In a California youth football league, there is a mercy rule. If a team wins a game by more than 35 points, the coach faces a $200 fine and possible suspension.

What?

One of the coaches says that he agrees with the league’s enforcement of the penalties and has in the past instructed one of his players to purposely turn over the ball.

Read about California’s “Mercy Rule” here

Are you kidding me?

Ending the game prematurely when the game is out of reach is one thing but purposely not playing hard and giving the ball away is asinine and benefits no one.

We want our children to be resilient; however, we protect them from experiencing situations that build resilience. Negotiating adversity is a part of life and builds character and resilience. In other words, to an extent, it is a good thing.

I think we are setting our children up for failure.

In youth sports leagues across the country, every kid gets a trophy. It doesn’t matter if they lose 91-0; they still get one.

That’s not reality. In reality, it’s ridiculous and detrimental to their reality.

Come back next week for part two as my rant continues and delves into how the anti-bullying campaign, like many other well-intentioned programs, has gotten completely out of hand.

Update: A Texas youth football league is making a change. Organizers say they will no longer handout trophies to every child who plays. Click here to read more.

Jody Fuller is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier. He can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com. For more information, please visit http://www.jodyfuller.com.

Promo pic small

Advertisements

“Put your distractors in check”

By 8:00 a.m., I’d already showered, packed, and enjoyed a hot cup of coffee on my fifth floor balcony overlooking the unparalleled beauty of the white sanded beaches of the Gulf of Mexico at the Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach.

The morning view from my balcony.

The morning view from my balcony.

I felt great!

Twenty three hours earlier, I’d just completed the opening keynote speech of the Gulf Coast 9-1-1 Conference.

Enjoyed spending time with my buddy Marvin, the Coffee County 911 coordinator.

Enjoyed spending time with my buddy Marvin, the Coffee County 911 coordinator.

On past trips, I would’ve been full of beer and struggled just to be awake prior to the mandatory checkout time.

On this trip, I was full of energy, good food, and gratitude.

I’ve been making better decisions as of late, and my life, both personally and professionally, have never been better.

I’ve tried to rid myself of three things that took up much of my time. I had to put them in check.

First of all, I haven’t been drunk in over five months. To put that into perspective, barring my three tours in Iraq, I haven’t gone five months without getting drunk since the five months before I ever got drunk.

I’ll still have a beer or two here and there but those beers are far and few between, and, on occasion, I’ll have a glass of wine with dinner. Be that as it may, most of the time, it’s lemonade, water with lemon, or un-sweet tea for me.

Yes, un-sweet tea. If given the choice, that’s how I roll. Oftentimes, sweet tea can be just too sweet and can be poured on pancakes if you’re running low on syrup.

But, I digress; I haven’t been drunk since May 14, 2013. I had a slight “buzz” after a couple of strong beers at a brewery in Northern Michigan two weeks ago but called it quits when the buzzing commenced. I was only a block from my hotel.

The drinking and the extracurricular activities associated with it were very time consuming. Whether it was the consumption of alcohol itself or sleeping off its effects, it was just a complete waste of time. Oftentimes, I would drink enough to ruin the entire next day which lead to little, if any, productivity.

Secondly, I was spending way too much time playing stupid games on my phone. The objective of the first game I got hooked on was to knock things over with different types of birds. Yes, birds, angry ones, at that.

After I’d tamed the birds, I had words with friends in a game that was a lot like Scrabble. I really can’t remember what made it so special, but it was my longest addiction. One time, I had a word worth 180 points but it was still stupid, but I was even stupider.

Lastly, there was Ruzzle. It was stupid, too.

Thankfully, I was never involved with the mafia and never had a farm. Furthermore, I do not currently have a crush on candy.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, chances are you have a Buick in your garage, but trust me, you aren’t missing a thing. A glass of cornbread and buttermilk is much more interesting and beneficial. These are more stupid, time consuming games at the fingertips of many Americans who own smart phones.

To be called “smart” phones, they sure are filled with a lot of stupidity.

Luckily, I gave up the games, which lead to more time to focus on things that are truly important.

I said there were three things I’ve tried to rid myself of, but, for the life of me, can’t remember what the third one was. Now I know how Governor Rick Perry felt at the November 2011 GOP debate when he couldn’t remember the third government agency he would shut down if elected President of the United States.

I feel you, governor. Oops.

I guess, in my case, it wasn’t very important since I can’t remember what it was. That states volumes, so good riddance to whatever it was.

It wasn’t food. I know that for a fact. I will never give up my affection for good food.

We are all so busy these days and for many legitimate reasons; however, most of us have many unnecessary distractors in our lives, too. Try putting your distractors in check and focus on what is truly important. You’ll be amazed by the results.

Update on 10/26/13: I finally remembered what the 3rd one was…Fantasy Football. That took up so much of my time and I still routinely came in last place. 

Note: Recently, someone asked me if I was an alcoholic and without hesitation, I said, “No.” That is the truth but another truth is that you don’t have to be an alcoholic to have a problem.

Jody Fuller is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier. He can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com. For more information, please visit http://www.jodyfuller.com.

Promo pic small

I love my baby girl

(This was written late Tuesday night for submission to the Opelika Observer.)

I really never know what I’m going to write about until I sit down and start typing.

I wish I was the type of writer who had several articles on stand-by for cases such as this. It would be so convenient just to pluck one from my laptop and send to the good folks at the Opelika Observer. Sadly, I do not. Even if I did have one on stand-by, it’d be hard to find, because congress is more organized than the files on my computer.

Each week, my goal is to write about something educational, motivating, or inspiring with a touch of humor. That’s my goal.

Today, that is hard to do. My mind is focused solely on one thing.

Ruby, my 5 month old chocolate lab, is the most wonderful dog to ever grace these parts. Everywhere I go, people ask, “Where’s Ruby?” She is amazing in every way. I love my baby girl.

She was doing fine for most of the day on Monday. She was running on all cylinders. She had the pedal to the medal. She was being, what I have dubbed, “Hurricane Ruby.”

That evening, something changed. The hurricane was downgraded to a tropical depression. Before long, there was just a dormant cloud.

The dormant cloud settled her head in my lap for much of the night.

Prior to Ruby’s inactivity, she was sick a couple of times. She moped around and whimpered. I couldn’t get her to eat or drink, which is unheard of.

She was really sick right here...I just didn't  know how sick.

She was really sick right here…I just didn’t know how sick.

I knew something was wrong but assumed she’d just eaten something that didn’t agree with her. We’ve all been there. She only eats high quality dog food but has been known to find some odd makeshift edibles in the back yard.

She would be fine after a good night’s sleep.

Usually, it takes her a while to find a comfortable spot in her bed. Technically, it’s my bed but it’s hers. She just lets me sleep in it. This night was different. She balled up right next to me alongside my torso and didn’t move for the next eight hours. I had to poke and prod her a time or two to ensure she was still with me.

I expected her to have regained her hurricane status upon waking up. Sadly, this was not the case, so I wasted no time in getting her to Opelika Animal Hospital. I love my baby girl.

Thank God I did.

I still wasn’t overly concerned. All animals get stomach aches from time to time. They get sick, mope around a bit, and are back to themselves in no time.

She was being boarded, anyway. By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be in Michigan and will have already performed in Ohio. I just dropped her off a few hours earlier than originally planned.

As I was running errands Tuesday afternoon, I decided to drop by the vet to check on my baby girl.

When I walked in, they were getting ready to call me. Ruby had been diagnosed with canine parvovirus type 2, known to most of us as parvo. My heart sank and my stomach immediately began to ache. I felt so bad for her.

In case you’re wondering, she was up to date on all of her immunizations and received them all on time.

I had Chyna, my previous lab, for over 15 years. I had to put her to sleep on July 30, 2012. I was hesitant about getting another dog and didn’t think I could ever love another as much as I loved Chyna, but Ruby has proven me wrong.

June 2, 2103...the day I brought her home.

June 2, 2103…the day I brought her home.

By the time this article is published, I should know one way or another whether or not she’s going to pull through. Hopefully getting her to the vet in a timely manner will play to her favor.  She deserves it, because she might just be the best dog ever.

We can do everything in the world to protect our babies but sometimes that is simply not enough. Life happens.

I feel so helpless. I hate being so far away. I hate that I am not with her, but the show must go on. I have bills to pay. Her stay at the vet for this treatment will likely be a costly one but one that I would pay again and again, because I love my baby and she loves me.

UPDATE: As many of you now know, she will make it. In fact, she is at home with my veterinarian right now. Now I can’t wait to get home to see my baby girl! Here is my update from yesterday! Please take a second to read it.

I'm so ready to pick my baby up and take her home!

I’m so ready to pick my baby up and take her home!

Jody Fuller is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with 3 tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com. For more information, please visit http://www.jodyfuller.com.

Promo pic small

The unlikely perfect day…

Monday was just a normal day for me. I woke up late, had lunch with Adrian, and then came home and started working. Ruby, my 5 ½ month old chocolate lab, was normal, too; she was wide open.

Late that afternoon, that changed. Long story short, I could tell she was sick.

After showing no signs of improvement after a good night’s sleep, I took her to my vet within a half hour of waking up. We didn’t sleep late on this day.

That afternoon, I found out that although Ruby was up to date on all her shots, she had parvo. It was not pretty and I was a nervous wreck. Parvo can be fatal, but I had hundreds of people praying for my sweet baby.

I had to fly early Wednesday morning to Ohio for a show at the University of Findlay. I also had to write my weekly article for the Opelika Observer. I also had a million other things that needed to be done, but all I could think about was my sweet Ruby.

Because of time restraints and just not wanting to be around people, I cancelled my flight and decided to drive. My GPS estimated it’d take me 11 ½ hours. No worries. I got this, even on 3 hours sleep, right? Right.

I sat down to write my article but couldn’t think of anything. All I could think of was Ruby, so Ruby it was…

It didn’t take long to complete the article and I finished around 12:45 a.m. and got it bed around 1:00. I woke up at 4:00 and was on the road at 5:00 a.m……in the morning.

It didn’t take long for me to realize I’d never make my 5:30 appointment at Findlay. I had failed to realize that Findlay, Ohio, was on Eastern Standard Time. The show wasn’t until 7:00 but I was meeting with a member of the faculty, Lori, and some students for dinner at 5:30.

I almost called Lori to let her know that I’d be late for dinner but on time for the show. I hate not being punctual.

I failed to take into account the Atlanta traffic, too. This was not going to be a good day.

None of this mattered, though. All I could think of was Ruby.

Ruby

After about four hours on the road, I got a call from my veterinarian, Dr. Colley, who was extremely optimistic about Ruby’s prognosis. I immediately felt better.

He called back a little while later and said the she would most likely be going home in the next day or two. I was a happy man.

He called back again and said that since I was out of town that he would take her home and keep her there until I got back in town.

I was exstat, ecstac, esctact…overwhelmed with joy!!!

Thank God I noticed the warning signs very early and got her to the clinic in a timely manner.

If your dog all of a sudden becomes lethargic, won’t eat or drink, and has stuff coming out of both ends, get it to the vet ASAP! Time is of the urgency!

I still had a show to get to and still had a shot at making that 5:30 appointment. I hate being late.

And I wasn’t…I got to my hotel at 4:30, beating the GPS estimate by an hour.

I took a shower, put on my fancy clothes, sprayed on the smell good and met the good folks at Findlay for dinner at 5:30. I also found out the show was at 8.

Half way through dinner, Lori left the table only to return a few minutes later with a surprise and what a surprise it was!

Making the two hour trek from Cleveland to see me was my best friend from Basic Training and AIT. I hadn’t seen Jason in about 20 years, since our early days in Germany together. He also brought along his very lovely and very pregnant wife, Selma. What a surprise! Jason had contacted the school and they set that up. He’d seen my post about the event on Facebook.

I immediately put Jason to work as he helped me retrieve some of my junk from my car. As we walked towards my car, a gentleman approached us from behind. He asked, “Do you remember me?” It took me about half a second and immediately went in for the hug. It was my friend Marc from Officer Candidate School. I hadn’t seen him since we graduated from OCS on Jan 10, 2003.

(L-R) Jason, Jody, Marc

(L-R) Jason, Jody, Marc

I was so humbled that these two old friends drove to Findlay, Ohio, to see their old buddy tell some jokes. I am still humbled. It was special and I am very appreciative of their efforts.

Then there was the show and it went extremely well. It was a great crowd, no doubt about it. They wanted to laugh and that they did for about 70 minutes or so. I’m so glad I didn’t stink it up for my pals in the crowd.

After merchandise sales, autographs, pictures, and hugs, I joined two of the faculty members, Lori and Sharinda, and Jason and Selma for dinner. Marc had to get home to get ready for work the next day. The meal was fabulous and Jason even picked up the tab for the whole table.

Like I said, this day was perfect…

Never give up. Surround yourself with good people. Drive on and good things will eventually happen. You just gotta keep the faith.

Jody Fuller is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com. For more information, please visit http://www.jodyfuller.com.