Month: June 2013

A good reminder

I was driving this morning behind an SUV with a Green Bay Packers flag on it. Those are slightly rare around Virginia, so it caught my eye. It also reminded me to pray for my favorite Packer, cornerback Davon House.

I know, it sounds silly, right? But I hold a lot of NFL players in high regard, and I’ve been following House’s NFL career with a keen eye. I’ve been hoping to see him get a chance to earn a starting spot in the league.

For the uninformed, Davon was a four-year starting cornerback (from 2007-2010) with the New Mexico State Aggies, the school that I’m attending. He was a two-time all-conference selection who was drafted by Green Bay in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He’s sixth in school history for career interceptions (11) and first in interception return yardage.

Although we didn’t overlap during our respective stays in Las Cruces, I did have the chance to meet Davon before the 2012 spring game and got him to autograph a picture for me. I distinctly remember saying some words of encouragement to him, about how I’m excited to see him in the NFL and that I’ve got a good feeling that he’ll be a quality starter for the Packers down the road. He was very grateful for that!

The thing that I’ve been impressed with is House’s likeable nature and his humble attitude. He’s a playmaker on the field, no doubt, but he’s very quiet and unassuming off the field. I’ve seen him do a number of interviews, and he’s always very gracious and soft-spoken.

It’s remarkable that House even made it to the NFL. As a kid, he and his brother Tyreace played baseball together and dreamed of going pro. But in Tyreace’s senior year of high school in Palmdale, California (Davon’s junior year), the two decided to try their hand at football. Both showed athleticism and ability, but it was Davon who grew to love being on the gridiron almost as much as the baseball diamond.

Despite Davon’s athletic ability and raw potential, he was unrecognized by any recruiting service out of high school. He enrolled at NMSU and walked on in the fall of 2007. By the end of that season, House was a starting cornerback and amassed four interceptions in his first four games as a true freshman. He etched his name in Aggie lore by becoming the first NMSU player to be drafted into the NFL in eight years, and the first former Aggie to be selected by the Packers. To this day, the Aggie faithful smile when they hear about House and his drive to make it to the pros against all odds.

Part of Davon’s humble, unassuming nature has to do with his strong Christian faith. On his Twitter profile, he lists himself as a Christian before he mentions being a Packer. He also puts John 3:16 on his Twitter bio and gives credit to God whenever he gets the chance. He’s also a family man, happily married to fellow NMSU alum Leatricia.

House was actively involved in charity work in Las Cruces, and almost immediately became involved in the community of Green Bay, visiting sick kids in hospitals and volunteering at a charity golf tournament, among other endeavours. He’s got a strong work ethic both on and off the field, and I pray that he’ll get his chance to shine as a starting cornerback.

Now entering his third season, House is pushing to win a starting job for the Packers. With training camp only a few weeks away, I will be hoping and praying for the best. I’m happy for Davon and his love for God, as well as his driven attitude and his hunger to succeed – not just as a pro football player, but as a man, husband, and Christ-follower. I pray that the Lord would protect Davon from injury and that his new marriage would be kept strong.

God bless Davon House and best wishes to him in the future – his best days are ahead of him!

Link to NMSU highlight reel:

Link to one-on-one interview with House (by Eastbay Sports):

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The Wire – season 3

Rules change. The game remains the same.

Season three of HBO’s highly-acclaimed crime drama The Wire begins with a bang as the 221 building and high-rise projects are demolished in an effort to stifle the drug trade. This leaves the Barksdale drug-dealing organization looking for new real estate in west Baltimore. Meanwhile, McNulty, Bunk, Freamon, and the rest of the detail keep their collective eyes on Stringer Bell as he attempts to bring high-quality product into the pockets of dope fiends all across the west side. Proposition Joe keeps running the east side drug ring with tenacity, and guns-for-hire Omar Little and Brother Mouzone are still a bane to dealers’ profits everywhere. Bodies are piling up, and the higher-ups in the police department are desperately trying to lower the unsolved murder rate.

Major Howard ‘Bunny’ Colvin has grown tired of the bureaucracy and ineffectiveness of the Baltimore PD. Without authorization from Commissioner Burrell and Colonel Rawls, Colvin legalizes drugs in certain areas of the west side, essentially creating open-air markets for dope on various blocks and corners. It is soon dubbed “Hamsterdam” by the locals and proves to be surprisingly effective.

Avon Barksdale’s sentence is dramatically reduced due to events in season two, and he is paroled and comes home. However, despite Stringer’s best efforts to keep control of the west side market, upstart Marlo Stanfield takes over a number of corners in the city, much to Avon’s fury. Marlo plays a deadly game, flexing his muscles within his own organization in order to remove Barksdale from power and threaten the supply of good dope to Barksdale’s people. Marlo’s chief lieutenants are the menacing Chris Partlow and hot-shot young-un Snoop.

Dennis ‘Cutty’ Wise, a former lieutenant for Barksdale, is released from prison at the beginning of the season, but wants out of the game. He leaves his old life behind, becoming a boxing instructor and opening a gym for at-risk youth in the community. Bubbles isn’t so fortunate, continuing to indulge his addiction to heroin and acting as Detective Greggs’ confidential informant.

In downtown Baltimore, the battle for city hall has begun. Everyone is feeling the heat, as the city council and mayoral races loom and politicians campaign to run a city full of crime, poverty, and urban decay. Tommy Carcetti, an ambitious councilman, works to organize a campaign to unseat incumbent mayor Clarence Royce. The corrupt state senator Clay Davis takes on a bigger role in season three, as well.

After season two’s drama on the docks, season three takes us back to the street corners. The new characters are truly compelling, especially Major Colvin and Marlo Stanfield. The scriptwriting and acting are once again fantastic, and the level of realism continues to impress me. Season Three of The Wire is phenomenal in every sense of the word.

Created by David Simon

Executive Producers — David Simon and Nina Kostroff Noble

Co-Executive Producer — Joe Chappelle

Produced by Karen Thorson, Ed Burns, and George Pelecanos

Story Editors — Ed Burns and George Pelecanos

Rated TV-MA

Starring Dominic West, Frankie Faison, John Doman, Wendell Pierce, Sonja Sohn, Wood Harris, Deirdre Lovejoy, Lance Reddick, Idris Elba, Clarke Peters, Seth Gilliam, Domenick Lombardozzi, Michael Kenneth Williams, J.D. Williams, Corey Parker Robinson, Jim True-Frost, Jamie Hector, Robert Wisdom, Aidan Gillan, Robert F. Chew, Andre Royo, Glynn Turman, Tray Chaney, Method Man, Christopher Mann, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Anwan Glover, Delaney Williams, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Felicia Pearson

“TV’s richest, most satisfying experience.” —Entertainment Weekly

“One of the smartest, most ambitious shows on television.” —The New York Times