Thanksgiving weekend had football, golf, horrible wreck
Our Thanksgiving Weekend had a variety of occurrences, most of them good, but it certainly was not that way for everyone in Southeast Texas and Southwestern Louisiana.
The day before the turkey got roasted was a relatively normal one for me, with a nice competitive game of golf in the morning, a haircut and then a quick trip to a newspaper office in Beaumont to verify that I was really me after receiving a phone call that I had won a high school playoff football contest.
I begged them to just drop the $50 gift certificate and two Lamar basketball tickets in the mail, but they had to make a photocopy of my driver’s license.
In making the round trip I got into a pretty thick traffic jam at the Neches River Bridge on IH 10 coming home, so we contacted daughter Denise Bybee in Houston and told her to take Highway 73 because of the possible bottleneck in Beaumont. She had intended to come early Thursday morning, but changed her mind and arrived Wednesday night instead.
Son-in-law Brian Whitehead waited until early Thursday morning to join the rest of his family that was already at our house since Tuesday, but when he saw the patches of fog and how heavy the traffic was flowing on IH 10 eastbound, he, too, diverted to Highway 73 and came to Orange by way of mid-county and wasn’t involved in that horrible 100-plus car pileup just west of Beaumont.
We were just glad that everyone reached Orange safely which made the turkey and ham taste even better. We are big Houston Texans fans and the traditional early game at Detroit before the meal was so exciting it delayed the meal an hour or so.
When the game went into the overtime period after both teams had the ball one time, Houston missed a lengthy field goal, then the Detroit kicker “doinked” one off the goal post before Shayne Graham booted one barely inside the left goal post for a 34-31 overtime win, the Texans’ tenth victory of the season in 11 games.
The victory moved the Texans a step closer to having the home field for the upcoming playoffs in January. But these hard-fought overtime wins are taking their toll on the starting players and the stockpiling of quality depth over the past two seasons is beginning to pay huge dividends as these players are making significant contributions to these grueling victories.
“Every win right now is huge,” Kubiak told the Houston Chronicle after reviewing the game film last weekend. “Every time you reach a new number now, it can mean the difference in the long haul (home field advantage in the playoffs).”
We were eating while the Cowboys floundered around Jerry Jones Emporium, falling far enough behind that only a Thanksgiving Day miracle would prevent them from falling to 5-6 for the season.
It didn’t happen as the Pokes lost 38-31 to the Washington Redskins, making the meal for Cowboys’ fans not as delicious as the Texans fans’ grub tasted.
Friday was another big football day for college fans, but it was also a beautiful day for golf so Craig Couvillion and I joined Sid Caillavet, Grant Gipson, George Davis, Bill Van, Barry Thibodeaux, Ronnie Logan and Sam Moore for a game at Sunset Grove that one could win something for skins, greenies and medalist honors.
After finishing the round in the early afternoon, it was time to shower up and get ready for the West Orange-Stark Mustangs vs. West Columbia playoff game in Channelview. The ‘Stangs jumped off to a 20-0 lead and earned the right to advance to the Region III semifinal round with a 20-10 victory over the Roughnecks.
The Mustangs (12-0) will meet Lorena (10-2)–a 42-39 winner over Fairfield last week–7 p.m. Friday at Waller High School.
Our routine on Saturday was rather peculiar, spending the late morning and early afternoon watching college football on TV and then playing golf in an 18-hole day-night four-person scramble hosted by Sunset Grove Country Club pro Kerry Lamb.
Our team consisted of Craig Couvillion and his wife Elva, Bob Hoepner and I and we played a normal scramble format on the back nine. Then we paused for a Mexican meal and resumed our tournament after dark on the front nine using florescent-glowing golf balls.
It was strange hitting a golf ball without seeing the ground it was sitting on, chipping to a green with a glowing pin and then putting to a glowing hole without really seeing how the ball will break.
We used Hoepner’s drive on a Par 4 hole, and then he hit his next shot on the green and rolled in a five-foot putt for a personal birdie, a feat that was not duplicated in the dark by anyone on the other 13 four-person teams.
Our team had three other birdies during the daytime segment, but also had four bogeys in the dark. Our even-par score gave us sixth place, but Lamb cleverly had prizes for the first, third, fifth, seventh, ninth and eleventh-place finishers. It was a lot of fun, but the night-time temperatures had dipped into the low 40’s by the time we finished.
KWICKIES…We knew it would be just a matter of time before the axe would fall on Auburn’s Gene Chizik as his Tigers went from the penthouse in 2010 to the outhouse in two short years. He was fired Sunday, 17 months after Auburn gave Chizik a contract worth $3.5 million annually through 2015 with a hefty buyout. Auburn endured the worst slide within two years of winning a national championship of any team since the Associated Press Poll started in 1936 with its 3-9 record. Those three wins were cupcakes, too, with a 31-28 overtime win against Louisiana-Monroe, 42-7 over New Mexico State and 51-7 over Alabama A&M.
The first nine places of this week’s BCS Poll remained unchanged, with only No. 10 South Carolina moving up two spots (1. Notre Dame 2. Alabama 3. Georgia 4. Florida 5. Oregon 6. Kansas State 7. LSU 8. Stanford 9. Texas A&M.)
The Orange Community Christian Lions will have a tough nut to crack when they meet undefeated Seguin Lifegate 2 p.m. Saturday at Bellville Faith Academy in Bellville, Texas. The TAPPS playoff game originally was scheduled for a 5 p.m. kickoff, but was changed by mutual consent. Seguin has dominated all 12 opponents it has faced and has allowed only 104 points this season. Common opponents were San Antonio Castle Hills which Seguin defeated 57-6 while the Lions won 77-43 and Houston Christian that Seguin crushed 83-8 and the Lions won 62-15.
Although Bridge City’s Matt Bryant made only one of his three field goal attempts Sunday, it was very significant as the Atlanta Falcons edged past Tampa Bay 24-23 to tie our Houston Texans as the NFL’s winningest teams with 10-1 records. Bryant connected on a 31-yard field goal but missed from 22 and 48 yards. Atlanta plays against the Jets in New Jersey Sunday while the Texans travel to Tennessee to meet the Titans.
JUST BETWEEN US…The Seattle Seahawks’ defense, which is led by Orange’s Earl Thomas at safety, is usually very solid and reliable, especially in the late stages of the game. But Sunday it faltered somewhat in the fourth period at Miami when the Dolphins scored 17 points, including a 43-yard field goal by Dan Carpenter as time expired, to overtake the Seahawks 24-21 and somewhat impede their chances for an easy wild card berth. Seattle’s record slipped to 6-5 to tie Minnesota and Tampa Bay for the second NFC wild card, who all trail Green Bay’s 7-4 record. The Seahawks, who have won only one-of-six games away from home, travel to meet the tough Chicago Bears at Soldier Field at noon Sunday.