A Dog’s Heavenly Journey

It’s always tough losing a loved one, especially pets. Even though there may be times when we sin, those God-sent four-legged animals love us as though we have never committed a sin in our life.

Sunday night, I lost my pet. I didn’t just lose my pet, I lost my friend, my four-legged brother, my companion.

As he crossed the bridge from temporary life into eternal life, I was broken inside. I didn’t know why he had to go but I knew exactly where he was going.

My four-legged brother, friend and companion was heading straight to Heaven. As much as it hurt to see him go, I was at peace knowing that he was no longer in pain,

For he was heading to be in The House of the Lord. He was heading for eternal life. In his final hours, I saw him in pain and desperation. As I looked into his yellow eyes during those heart-wrenching hours, I saw little tears being shed from the struggle that he was going through.

He hadn’t wagged his tail all day, but when St. Peter opened the pearly gates and my four-legged brother took the first of many steps on the streets of gold, he began to finally wag his tail, as if he was telling us he was in The House of God. He was finally at peace with one paw in the Hand of God.

Pets are often thought of as God’s sinless creatures, which is the absolute truth. If you have a dog, or any pet for that matter, hug them, feed them the table scraps, feed them half of everything you eat.

Do unto God’s creatures as you would hope they would do unto you,

God Bless.

Chipper Jones Assuming Position of Analyst for ESPN Wednesday Night Baseball, Replacing David Ross

As a huge life-long Braves fan, when I first read the news of former Atlanta standout Chipper Jones stepping in to fill David Ross’ role on Wednesday Night Baseball for ESPN, which was made public Saturday night by “Talking Chop”, I can’t help but think about how much color he will bring to the booth.

Most all of us know Chipper for his serious approach to the game of baseball, but I know Chipper for being a jokester as well as for his serious approach toward the game that he loves dearly.

Many people know that his walk-up song was Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” for the most-part if not all of his 19-year career in Atlanta.

Sure, you’ve seen him blow bubbles with bubblegum in left field and at third base for years, but do you know his hand-signal?

If not, he sticks his middle two fingers down, leaving his pointer, thumb, and pinkie up. I watched him make this motion for many years.

Growing up, I idolized Chipper as a baseball player. But now, I idolize him as both a Hall of Fame baseball player and broadcaster. I never thought I would see the day where my role model and I would be in the same industry.

Chipper, thank you for the memories as a baseball player and I look forward to working with you one day in the booths of baseball parks across this nation.

You will never know how much of an impact you have made on my life for many years, and one day I will work alongside you, my role model, my childhood hero.

Don’t let those wires and headsets injure you buddy.

I won’t stop working toward my dream until I’m sitting next to you in a broadcast booth at a Major League Baseball stadium one day.

Take care buddy, welcome to the family. I’ll see you at the top of the mountain.

Photo: Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

Baseball is a Thinker’s Sport, Learn to Love the Game and the People in it

In my seven years as a baseball broadcaster, I have heard multiple times “Baseball is boring,” “Baseball is so slow,” and “I hate baseball, there’s not enough action.”

Often times when I’m behind the microphone, I get asked the question “What made you want to become a broadcaster, did you just wake up one day and decide to be a broadcaster?” I’m also asked, “How do you stay entertained during blowout games?”

My answer to the first question is, “I grew up around the game and was forced to stop playing the game by age eight from a broken finger that I sustained while bunting the ball. But God knew my future wasn’t in playing the sport, but analyzing it.”

My answer to the second question is, “In between innings during any given baseball that I am broadcasting, I can be found dancing, yes dancing, to the music that I play during that time.”

More often than not, people think that the sport doesn’t require much thinking, that it just comes natural. But in reality, it requires a ton of thinking.

You have to understand the fundamentals of the game, obviously. But then you also have to put yourself in the coaches shoes and visualize what you would do if you were the coach of the team in that particular situation.

You also have to study the game a ton. During your time off, you have to sit down and study different games.

It’s a thinker’s game, but it’s also about the people who play and coach the sport. You have to build a relationship with the coaches and players alike.

The game of baseball in my opinion, is the best sport on the face of the Earth. Not just because of my broadcasting career, but also because of the relationships that I have built with multiple coaches and players.

Learn to love the game and the people involved with it.

Make Every Effort to Do Tomorrow’s Work Today Because Tomorrow Never Comes

In life, we find ourselves saying “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I’ll finish it tomorrow” but if you really think about it, everyday has a ‘tomorrow’ so tomorrow never really comes.

We never see tomorrow if you really think about it. So do whatever you were planning to put off until tomorrow, today.

There really is no such thing as ‘tomorrow’. If we all waited until tomorrow to take action, we would never get anywhere.

If Steve Jobs had waited until tomorrow to found Apple, we wouldn’t have all of the technology that we have at our fingertips today.

If Sam Walton had waited until tomorrow to found Walmart, where would we buy the things that we need on a daily basis.

If we waited until tomorrow to tell the ones we love that we love them, we would never get the opportunity, if you think about it.

Don’t take advantage of tomorrow, take advantage of today. Realistically, none of us have ever seen tomorrow.

Do what you want today, because you never know what the next day holds.

I know that sounds cliche, but it’s true. None of us have ever seen tomorrow because each day has its own tomorrow.

Use today to get tomorrow’s work done, use today to bring you closer to your dream.

Imagine how much we would be missing if we waited until tomorrow to do anything.

Treat tomorrow as if it doesn’t exist, because in reality, it doesn’t.

Do what you feel is right today, because tomorrow will never come, tomorrow will always be tomorrow.

Live for today, don’t wait until tomorrow to start living your life because by then, it’ll be too late.

Why do we all worry about tomorrow as if it is promised?

We need to be worried about today because tomorrow will never come.

Never Let Anybody Tell You That You Can’t Be Great

People will tell you that you can’t or won’t do something. When they tell you that, don’t tell them that they are wrong show them that they are wrong. Words mean nothing, actions do.

My early-life wasn’t the easiest, I had doctors and nurses tell me that I would never live life outside of the four walls of a hospital.

They told me I didn’t have a chance at living life without their help. Early on in life, I suffered from gangrene, ruptured intestines, a stroke and I live daily with cerebral palsy.

No, things aren’t as easy for me to do as they might be for a person that doesn’t have cerebral palsy, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t do it.

When people tell you that you can’t or won’t do something, work for it, take those words and shove them down their throats.

The fact of the matter is, you can be great, but are you willing to encounter adversity? Do you have the courage to stick it out when life knocks you down?

Do you have the strength that it takes to overcome adversity.

No matter what race or gender you are, you can achieve anything you want if you are willing to encounter what is going to come your way and try to knock you out?

Success doesn’t discriminate, anybody can be successful, but if you want to be great?

You determine your future, nobody determines your future but you. You are the only one that can decide now what your future contains. Will you let the doubters win, or will you knock them out?

Leave a LEGACY.

You have what it takes to be great, but do you have what it takes to be greater than the great? Don’t be satisfied.

What will your legacy be?

Be Relentless: People Will Doubt You For the Rest of Your LIFE

No matter what you do, even if it’s the right thing, people will doubt you for the rest of your life.

Don’t listen to them, go out there and make them eat their words. People will say things like, “You’ll never be anything in life”, “You’ll never do anything,” you’ll never accomplish that,” and so many other things along those lines.

Take those statements and use them to fuel the fire inside of you. You will have doubters your whole life.

But it’s all about how you view those statements. You can either use them to inspire you or you can choose to believe them and live a miserable life.

People will constantly try to crush your dreams. That’s just the way some people in this world are, they find satisfaction in dragging you and your dreams down.

You have to be willing to show them that they did nothing but inspire you to work harder.

While they think they’re killing you mentally, all they did was feed the lion that is within you.

You can’t listen to everything people say. You have to be relentless. You have to take those words, use them as motivation, and remember what those people said when you feel like giving up.

You see, if you give up on your dreams, all you will do is prove that those people that doubted you were right in the beginning, you are admitting that you are mentally weak.

If you don’t take those words and remember them when life knocks you off of your feet, you won’t be successful.

If you let the doubters win, you are admitting that they are mentally stronger than you are.

People will try to delay the timing of your dream every single day of your life.

Don’t let those people control you mentally you must believe in yourself and your dream.

You must use the words people say as mental fuel. You have a lion in you, don’t let your doubters win. Keep going, keep pushing, keep moving forward.

Failure doesn’t exist, nothing is limiting you. The world is yours for the taking.

Everything you have ever wanted to achieve is right in front of you.

Everything you ever wanted is staring you right in the eyes.

It’s your responsibility to fight for what you want.

Don’t stop fighting until you are standing on top of the world. You have what it takes to accomplish everything you ever wanted.

But do you want it bad enough? Are you hungry enough to chase your dream?

Find that lion inside of you, keep feeding it motivation, one day, that lion will roar, one day you will have everything you had ever dreamt of. One day, you will stand on top of the world.

Deja Vu: An Iron Bowl for the Ages

Saturday night, felt like deja vu. I felt like I had seen it before. In fact, I had seen it before, six years to the date earlier when Auburn returned a last second field goal 109 yards to pay dirt.

Although this one was under different circumstances, it will still stand the test of time.

When Zakoby McClain took the football off of an Alabama receivers hands, and returned it 100 yards to the end zone, everything slowed down and I was taken back to 2013.

All I could think about was: “Wow, I wonder what Rod Bramblett is saying now. What would he say if he was still behind the microphone?”

It was absolutely insane. When I got home, I was discussing the game with my brother’s girlfriend, and we were talking about the pick-six. She said “I wonder how he caught that.” I replied, “He didn’t, Rod had a hand in this one.” Her voice got shaky and she replied “He was watching over us.”

Say what you want about the Iron Bowl but when it comes to historic moments, there is nothing like the Iron Bowl.

Picture: NBC Sports.

Don’t Let Your Past Poison Your Future

Often times, we find ourselves dwelling on the past, dwelling on and worrying about things that are completely out of our control.

When we do that, we aren’t helping ourselves in the least bit. In fact, when we do that, we aren’t making our future any better, instead, we are making it worse. What has happened in the past no longer matters.

It’s a part of the past for a reason, personally, I’ve had a rough, life-threatening past but I refused to let that poison my future. We’ll get into that at a later date.

When we worry about things in the past, we end up tearing our own lives apart even when we don’t realize it. If we focused on our futures as much as we do our pasts, this world would be a better place.

It’s never too late to change your mindset, stop letting your past poison your future. Instead, let your past poise you for the future. Anything is possible. All you’ve got to do is believe in yourself.

Be the lion when all others are playing sheep. Don’t put your future in danger because of your past.

Big Ken: A Man Larger Than Life

The date was September 14, 1938, 81 years ago tomorrow my grandfather, whom I affectionately called ‘Big Ken’, due to his massive stature, was born. But his stature wasn’t the only thing that was big. His heart was even bigger than his stature. He would do anything for anybody, not because he wanted to brag, he wasn’t that type, but because he simply knew that it was the right thing to do. I can’t recall a time that he didn’t do what was right at any time. Growing up in Bascom, Florida, in the 30s and 40, he didn’t have much, but he was thankful for what he had and didn’t complain about what others had that he didn’t. My dad and aunt often talk about how mean Big Ken could be. But I never saw the mean side of him (thankfully). I think that is because as a person ages, they tend to mellow out. So by the time my brother and I were born 1997, he must’ve been pretty mellow. As we grew up, we would go down to Spanish Fort, Alabama, where Big Ken and Grandma Sherry lived while we grew up. Every time we saw them until Big Ken was in his last days with us in 2006, he and Grandma Sherry always had surprises for us in the back of their black Crown Victoria and my brother and I would run to the car anxiously awaiting the surprises that were inside. When our grandparents visited Wetumpka, we would often go to Fort Toulouse, a battleground which is famous for its history, including being the site where Creek Indian Chief, William Weatherford, known as “Red Eagle” to members of the tribe, surrendered to General Andrew Jackson on August 9, 1814, to have lunch. Well, there’s moss in the trees down at Fort Toulouse, which was built in 1714, but my brother wasn’t aware of that, so he often asked “Why is there ‘hair in the trees?'” Big Ken and I would often laugh and laugh. I also recall lots of time spent playing baseball in the back yard of their Spanish Fort home, the land that their home sat on was used as battleground in the days of the Civil War if I remember correctly. Big Ken even built a bridge for us in the front yard and named it ‘B & B Bridge’ in our honor. If I’m not mistaken he built the bridge somewhere around 2002. I often find myself wondering if the bridge is still standing since the house has since been handed to new owners. In his final days, he worried about us not remembering who he was, I’m sure he went to heaven worrying about that, but that’s far from the case. Almost 13 years after his death, we still talk about him and all of the good times we spent with him, while dad informs of some good times and some not so good times spent with Big Ken. At 6’4″, 200-plus pounds, he surely seemed larger than life and his impact on our lives is still felt today. Happy 81st Birthday, Big Ken, we haven’t forgotten you.

You Never Know Who Might Be Watching

Last night, as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, I came across a picture that really caught my eye, the picture was of a little kid touching the frame that protected the picture of Kavosiey Smoke, a former Wetumpka High School football standout, who is now flourishing in The Bluegrass State of Kentucky as a running back on the Kentucky Wildcats football team led by head coach, Mark Stoops. The kid in the picture is Tristan Jackson, the son of former WHS football player, OJ Jackson, however Gayle Henderson Coker Perry posted the picture with the message: “‘Just a reminder to all you “big boys” out there you have no idea how big your influence may be. Little eyes may be watching, and not only in football!!”‘I proceeded to comment: “‘In every sport and in every aspect of life.”‘ The point of this piece is, you never know who is watching, give your all in everything you do.