This week's High Five ...
5. FRANK-LY SPEAKING
My father-in-law Frank is officially "homeless" after the sale of his suburban Chicago townhouse was completed Friday.
Robbie and I worked like dogs -- and I'm not talkin' about chihuahuas but more like border collies -- getting that place ready to sell, so it was nice to see it go so fast after hitting the market. In addition to making several trips from Charlotte to clean it out (look back at the July 6 TBT to remind yourself how crazy that experience was), we had to arrange for new carpet and paint, hire a realtor, arrange for a new garage door, etc., etc., etc. ... with the emphasis on the "etc."
All the while, Frank kept asking to go back to the place so he could sort through his things -- things that weren't there any more. (We kept him informed every step of the way, but being nearly 90, his short-term memory isn't what it used to be.) Now that it's sold, he has nothing to worry about, and that means less pressure on Robbie to deal with him worrying.
Frank is staying with his niece in Chicago through the New Year and then the plan is to make him an official North Carolina resident. Frankly, it's quite a relief.
4. SOMEWHERE, AL McGUIRE IS SMILING
1. I joined about 15 fellow Marquette alums at a Charlotte bar Saturday to watch our lads' impressive, exciting victory over one of the teams I especially love to hate, Wisconsin.
Marquette freshman sensation
drives past Bucky Badger
The game was in Madison -- the first true road test for our freshman-dominated squad -- and that historically has been a very difficult place to win. Marquette is 8-2, with seven straight victories since getting blown out at home by Iowa.
After a couple of downright depressing years to be a Warrior Eagle, it's nice to see the team going in the right direction again.
3. THE WRITE STUFF
For nine straight months, every article I've written for Seeking Alpha has been an Editor's Pick. So while I'm not getting rich, I am getting recognition. Given that I have a typical writer's ego, that matters!
Here's the latest, which hit the site last week: Kinder Morgan: I Told Me So!
2. FLY, FLY, FLY EAGLES!
My Scholars Academy Eagles go into the Xmas break at 5-0, and our margins of victory so far have been 38, 30, 32, 13 and 24 points.
We actually didn't play very well on offense in the first half of our game Thursday -- we really seemed to play down to the level of the competition -- but we "won" the second half 22-2. And I later sent the girls this text:
"Hi Ladies. The more I think about it, the more I believe we played pretty well after our slow start. We shouldn't be so worried about 'style points' that we forget to enjoy working hard, competing enthusiastically and ultimately scoring a decisive victory. Have a great weekend. Go Eagles!"
Our famed and feared, "Fly, Fly, Fly Eagles"
cheer, which is reserved only for after victories.
At this age, it should mostly be about getting better and having fun, anyway. But yes, they do keep score ... so we might as well finish each game with more points than the other team. We're pretty good at that, too.
I'm already looking forward to January and February!
1. CAM'S PANTHERS ARE NO. 1, FOLKS - DEAL WITH IT!
I am getting so tired of idiots who think they know something about the NFL calling the Panthers "the worst undefeated team" -- whatever that means -- and criticizing Cam Newton.
Well, after absolutely humiliating the Falcons on Sunday, the Panthers are 13-0 and are racking up one impressive victory after another. Newton laughed at the SI cover jinx, throwing for 600 yards and 8 TDs the last two weeks; most informed national football commentators say he is the league MVP.
In Newton, Greg Olsen, Ryan Kalil, Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, K.K. Short and Josh Norman, the Panthers have seven players who rank at or near the very top of their positions, and they also have some great role players.
It's stunning how little respect the Panthers have gotten most of this season. But hey, if that's been part of their motivation, I should stop complaining about it and hope the disrespect continues well into February.
And for opponents who think Cam is too cocky and don't like his celebrations ... all they have to do is stop him.
It hasn't happened yet in 2015.