I arose Saturday morning early to finish my continuing legal education. The seminar, an "ethics" credit, told cautionary tales about not getting intimately involved with clients. As I have never been remotely tempted to mix work and pleasure in this way, it was a bit like listening to a seminar about avoiding hang gliding accidents--all quite colorful, but not much use unless you strap yourself into something absurd.
I took our lhasa Teddy for a walk by the pond today. We are actually getting Autumn color this year, something we do not always get (and always get as late as late November when we do). My wife and I went to the Natatorium at the end of the afternoon. I spent my time dog paddling in the nearly-empty shallow pool, then sitting serenely in the hot tub pool.
We went to the restaurant San Miguel, which does very credible Tex/Mex. I had the "Sofia" combination, two wonderful beef tamales and a very good cheese enchilada. Then we went to "The Polar Express", which we found delightful. It reminded me, on purpose, of every Christmas thing from my childhood. If it had been broadcast during my childhood,though, it would have been sponsored by Norelco. I used to love to watch Santa ride a sled made out of rotary electric razor blade.
I watched Florida upset Florida State on television. This marks a strange turn for me. I must first confess a flaw. When Steve Spurrier coached at Florida, I "rooted" for any team who played them to beat them, just so that Spurrier's victory smirk could be wiped away, and as payback for his shameless running up of scores. However, since Spurrier left to coach the Redskins, everything has changed. First, Spurrier discovered not only defeat but humility in the pro leagues, rendering him somehow likable after all. His successor, Ron Zook, took a rebuilding team a fair way but far short of former glory. Fans hounded him from the job this year after his young team lost ignobly to Mississippi State (if they wrote the nativity story today, I am sure a sage would ask "can anything good come out of Starkville?").
Rather than whining and having his team giving up, he kept on coaching and they played solid football like total class acts. Tonight I found myself in a very odd position--actually rooting for Florida to win. I am so predictable--totally rooting for the underdog. Growing up in Arkansas is good for that trait. I do feel badly for Chris Rix, though, Florida State's quarterback who has heart, courage, talent, and yet a very human set of flaws of judgment and shortfalls of ability which make him not a star but someone the commentators use hushed tones to describe. I wish both teams well in bowls, and I cannot remember how long it has been since that occurred. Arkansas beat Mississippi State today, so I guess the season is not a total loss. I think that Arkansas quarterback Matt Jones, a senior kid of great talent and huge flaws who is all heart surrounded by well-meaning but extremely green freshmen, deserves a hearty handshake from someone.
Although I do not usually run a sports page in this feeble weblog, other than the doings of perhaps Anatoly Karpov, I must say that I am so disappointed with the players at South Carolina who managed to get into a brawl with Clemson players on Lou Holtz's last day as a head coach. What ever happened to respect and a sense of the moment? Lou Holtz is a class act, and deserves better. I did not hear yet whether Spurrier is indeed going to SC, but I rather hope he does, and uses his new-found perspective to turn such bad attitudes around. He never was accused of being a Landry-like role model, but he always has been able to imprint on players that his way is the only way. Maybe he could decide his way involves respect, and instill some. People turn over new leafs, even though sometimes it takes humiliating defeats wearing Redskin uniforms (why is any team in post-2001 still using native American ethnic slur team names?) to show the way.
Late tonight I wrote a long e mail about law school to a kid who asked my advice. It was interesting to sum up my impresssions about law school and lawyering in one e mail. November 1984 I got my law license. Twenty years. Wow.