Sunday, January 21, 2024


I am a diehard Green Bay Packer fan and Wisconsin Badgers fan, but I admit I love sports. While I don’t particularly care for baseball, I follow the Milwaukee Brewers because it is our home team. Same can be said about the Milwaukee Bucks. Not a real fan of pro basketball, but the Bucks are from Milwaukee. What can I say? 

Those of you who read and followed my previous posts know I was a basketball coach, both high school and two years at the collegiate level as a graduate assistant. I honestly and sincerely can’t play the game. I have no left hand, and I cannot jump or shoot. Being seventy-years-old and getting a hip replacement in February, I am not fast or quick. I never was. 

My players used to laugh at me. One summer running a basketball camp, I caught some of the players laughing. I asked what they were laughing at, and one brave senior, Mike, explained they were taking bets if I could jump and hit the net.  

Hmmm … 

I should have just laughed along with them, but to prove them wrong, I said not only could I jump and touch the net, but I could hit the fat part of the strings. That caused them to laugh even more. So, like a fool, I ran and jumped, but came more than a few inches away from hitting the net- completely, and not just the fat part of the net. Can you say, “Humble pie?” 

But I could coach the game. Two-time coach of the year. One state championship, one state runner-up, and one state consolation championship. Not bad for eight years of high school coaching. However, I wasn’t a great coach, per se, but I think I was a pretty good motivator. I had terrific athletes, players who could shoot and jump and who were tenacious on defense. Sincerely, I give all the credit to my players and my coaches. They made me look good, and I think we all had fun on that ride. 

Last night, Kim and I watched the Packers play the 49ers in the playoffs. 49ers were the number one seed, while the Packers, the youngest team in the league, were the seventh seed. We weren’t supposed to win, and we didn’t.

Yet … 

If the field goal was about six or seven inches to the right, the score might have been different. When the Packers went for it on 4th and inches and failed to get a first down, the game might have had a different outcome. If two passes would have been a couple of inches more on target, a drive would have stayed alive and again, the ending of the game might have been different from what it was. 

In the end, the field goal was missed, the 4th and inches wasn’t met, and the two passes weren’t completed- except to the other team. All three outcomes led to the score being what it was. The team that should have won, did. The team that shouldn’t have won, didn’t. 

If and inches …

Did the Packers fail? Perhaps on the scoreboard, if that’s the only thing you take into consideration. But did our first- and second-year receivers make a difference this year? A resounding yes. How about our first- and second-year defenders? How about the quarterback, whose first year as a starter set records? How about the team who wasn’t supposed to be in the playoffs in the first place- did they fail? Again, only if you look at the scoreboard, and in this day and age- for some- only the scoreboard matters.

But there is much the Packers can build on, and a message was sent to the rest of the league last night. A message of hope and optimism for Packer fans, and a not-so-subtle message to “just wait until next year …!” for the rest of the league. 

In our lives, how often do we just miss out on something we go after? If we would have tried a little harder, went after it a little sooner, been a little faster? If and inches … 

It takes 212 degrees Fahrenheit for water to boil. Not 211 degrees, but 212 degrees. One degree makes a difference, just like a couple of inches either way makes a difference. Often, our minds, not our bodies, let us down. We tell ourselves we can’t, instead of telling ourselves, yes, we can. One degree. One or two inches. Effort and belief. Not just in sports, but in life. All the difference in the world. Something to think about …

To My Readers:  

If you like what you’re reading and find a benefit from it, you can check out my other posts at under the Inspirational Blog tab. You can find all nine books, their descriptions, and links for purchase at the same site. I can also be found on Facebook at:

For your convenience, here is the description and purchase link for Caught in a Web, a PenCraft Literary Award Winner, and a book BestThrillers named, “One of the best conspiracy thrillers of 2018!” and Midwest Review wrote, “…the right blend of tension and intrigue …”

“This important, nail-biting crime thriller about MS-13 sets the bar very high. One of the year’s best thrillers.” –Best Thrillers

The bodies of high school and middle school kids are found dead from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl. The drug trade along the I-94 and I-43 corridors and the Milwaukee Metro area is controlled by MS-13, a violent gang originating from El Salvador. Ricardo Fuentes is sent from Chicago to Waukesha to find out who is cutting in on their business, shut it down and teach them a lesson. But he has an ulterior motive: find and kill a fifteen-year-old boy, George Tokay, who had killed his cousin the previous summer.

Detectives Jamie Graff, Pat O’Connor and Paul Eiselmann race to find the source of the drugs, shut down the ring, and find Fuentes before he kills anyone else, especially George or members of his family. The three detectives discover the ring has its roots in a high school among the students and staff.

What’s worse than revenge and death? Not knowing you are the target. PenCraft Literary Award Winner!

Photograph courtesy of Bozhin Karaivanov and Unsplash







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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe