Yearly Archives: 2010
My last week as a Red Raider football player has begun to tick away. Its strange to know that everything I have known for the last 5 years of my life is about to be flipped, spun, shook and contorted into something completely different. However, it is pretty exciting to know change is on the horizon.
Last week I cleaned out my locker and removed my nameplate reading ‘Baron Batch 25’. The next time I step foot in Lubbock Texas I will be a ‘has been’ and I don’t mean that in a bad way, that’s just how I have referred to old players. Turns out I’m very close to being an old player now. Looks like the jokes on me.
I’m officially a Texas Tech graduate as of last week. It’s a great feeling to have my degree and be finished with school. This past week there have been numerous changes that have occurred for me. I sold just about everything that I own and moved out of my house in Lubbock and am now officially a nomad. I no longer have a place of residence and am a drifter! I guess this will make it a tad more difficult for ‘the man’ to find me. Everything I own now fits in the back seat of my silver 99’ Toyota Camry. As I drove home to Midland from Lubbock I looked up and snapped a picture of my rearview mirror that held an image of the Lubbock skyline consisting of four buildings. I thought about all the things I would miss about Lubbock. It is only fitting that I write a farewell letter.
Here is my farewell love letter.
I will miss you. I have had a blast getting to know you. You have seen me grow up over the years. I will miss you dearly. Many college students from larger cities diss you and say that you are boring and have nothing to do. Don’t listen to them; they have yet to learn how to appreciate the laid-back west Texas lifestyle! I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t a fan of the aroma of cattle that permeated the air when I first arrived, but once I was informed by a local farmer that it was only the smell of money I was ok with it (I didn’t tell him that my money smells better). I will miss all of my favorite eateries to eat like Ohanas, Thai Thai, Sazon, and the Rawls Golf Course. I will severely miss getting a fresh cinnamon apple chai from Sugar Browns, my favorite coffee shop. I will miss all you wonderful people.
I hope that everyone had an amazing Christmas! I was able to go home for a brief period of time and enjoyed every second of it. However, the holidays are over and now its time to start preparing for our bowl game.
Today we reported in Dallas for the bowl game against Northwestern. On the way here I drove through a place called White Settlement, I got to thinking and began to wonder what Black Settlement would be like and how delicious the food would be!
Right now I’m sitting on my hotel bed having trouble writing because I usually generate all of my creative ideas over a cinnamon apple chai at Sugar Browns. My roommate just walked into the room and slowly the rest of the players are arriving at the hotel. I room with my fellow running back Eric Stephens and his snoring is unreal, I will soon be in search of earplugs for the night. As crazy as it sounds things like Eric’s ridiculous snoring are things that I will miss about Tech. I will miss getting to hang out with my teammates more than anything. I will miss the locker room pranks and intense ping-pong matches. I will miss the little things.
Things are moving a million miles an hour for me right now. It feels like someone hit the fast-forward button to my life. I think the strangest thing is to know I’m leaving but have no idea where I will end up.
On January 2nd after the bowl game I will be flying out of Dallas to Haiti with a group from Lubbock called Operation Hope to do some work for the Haitian people so I wont be writing next week, but expect an awesome write up the following week. I would appreciate if you keep the group and I in your thoughts as we travel. One thing that trips like this do are make me very grateful for everything I have. It always puts things into perspective.
Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers in the coming months.
Wreck em’ and God bless.
I was asked what I wanted for Christmas a few days ago and I sat and thought. My answer was this. I want a show on the Travel Channel. Not kidding at all. Dear Travel Channel, lets get together and make awesome television! Ok, now we can move on.
Our bowl match up is set. January 1st we will be playing Northwestern in the Ticket City bowl in Dallas. Bowl games are always a highlight of my holiday season. For starters, it provides another opportunity to play a football game and get to be with my teammates for one last time. Secondly it’s always nice to get the bowl gifts and money. Merry Christmas to me!
It’s not easy to make a bowl game. I think sometimes that gets overlooked. Or maybe people have just become accustomed to the fact that we have been to a bowl game for all of my five years and many years before I arrived here. I know I assumed it would happen this year. It’s not easy though. Earlier in the year I remember thinking “gees there is seriously a chance that we might not go bowling.” It gave everyone a sense of urgency for sure. Everyone likes extra Christmas gifts!
We are 7-5 and can finish 8-5 with a bowl win. I would call that a fairly successful season. Yes we have five losses at this point, and yes we have lost some games that we shouldn’t have. 7-5 isn’t as bad as you think because if those numbers are flipped and we had finished 5-7 guess what would have happened? Guess what bowl we would get to play in? The Off-season Bowl, with half of the other teams in the country. I don’t think the Off-season Bowl would be fun.
It’s kind of ironic that we are playing Northwestern. If I hadn’t come to Tech, Northwestern would have been my second choice. It’s cool to look back and see that both paths could have ended at the same destination.
Ok, so my time in Lubbock is just about over. I have 10 days left. Tick tock, its counting down with haste. So many of you have inquired about my plans post Texas Tech and what I want to do with my life.
Well, I want to do many things.
I love to write. So I’ll be a writer. I love photography. So I’ll be a photographer. I love to travel. So I will be a traveler. I love football. So I will be a professional football player. Yes I know what most of you are thinking. “That’s not how that works, you cant just do everything.” Well why not? There is a term for people that think like that. I would refer to them as ‘haters’ and they love to engage in an activity called ‘hating’.
But really, why not try and do everything that you love to do? Isn’t that way better than not even trying because you let the fear of failure consume you, and then ending up doing nothing?
I’ve learned that Success seeks no one. Success is hidden in places where most people are afraid to go. You have to find her. If you stand and try and wait on Success to find you, you’re wasting your time. Even in the event that you randomly meet her on the street, have a conversation, and shake her hand, you will walk away without thinking to ask for the digits because you simply weren’t searching. If you don’t recognize what success looks like you will walk right by her. Success isn’t the vain prom queen. She doesn’t always stick out; she is the quiet girl in the back of class with glasses and a ponytail, waiting for some one to take notice and beautiful nonetheless. Success is not found arrogantly strolling in the middle of the road illuminated by streetlights that everyone is brave enough to walk down. She is found quietly walking on the dimly lit sidewalk that gets scary where the street lights end. Success is found in the dark places. She is found in places where most don’t look or are afraid to venture. Places with zero visibility. Places where you are forced to take a leap of faith and simply trust God.
So I’m taking my leap of faith with this next step of my life. I have my list of things I love and I’m going to do them all.
This past week I sold everything in my house and have packed up to leave. Honestly I don’t know what the next year is going to look like for me. After January I will no longer have an official place of residence. I wont have my own bed. I am going to train for the NFL somewhere not in Lubbock. I guess I could always stay here and stay in shape by circling Jack in the Box like the rest of those vulture people (kidding).
The next few months I am navigating with zero visibility in many areas. It’s awesome! I’ll have my camera, car, clothes, computer and bible with me and that’s it. I guess I’m a nomad.
There are many unknowns and uncertainties for me over the horizon. One thing I am for certain. I’m not waiting on Success. I’m looking for her. When I find her I will recognize what she looks like. I wont be shy or hesitant to approach her and introduce myself. “Hi Success, I’m Baron. It’s a pleasure to meet you, I’ve had my eye on you for a while now.” That’s what I’ll say. I’ll be sure to ask for her number, and then memorize it so I don’t forget. Ill be sure to call her. I will pick her up in my 99 Silver Toyota Camry and will be dressed to impress. I will take Success out for a nice steak dinner and have good conversation. We will eventually get married and she will be mine! I will have no problem taking her last name, which would be ‘Successful’. We will have children and they will all be successes.
But seriously, if boys chased success like they chase girls; and girls chased success like they chase boys. Wouldn’t there be more successful people?
This next step in my life is going to be an exciting one for sure! This week’s food for thought is this. Are you chasing to keep up, or are you chasing to catch what your after? Wreck em’ and God bless.
Ok, so here’s the deal. I am done with college. Last Wednesday was my last day. I walked triumphantly out of room 154 with my arms held high. The feeling is similar to the childhood thrill of finding Waldo after hours of scanning for his red and white striped shirt, and knowing that you had accomplished something that not every kid could! Every kid can’t find Waldo. Some children are inept at spotting the striped traveler. Many give up and let frustration ensue, because Waldo is clearly a master of disguise. But for the persistent, relentless, observant, child that does happen to find Waldo the feeling is great! Finishing school and finding Waldo go hand in hand! Who woulda thunk it?
So I have actually had a few complaints about my last few columns from several readers. It still makes me laugh when I think about the fact that I actually have ‘readers’! I have been informed that my last few columns have been tear-jerker’s. I would have to agree to a certain extent. So this column will be a change of pace.
Of course five years of college has provided many humorous stories and events. More importantly I have learned a great deal of valuable lessons that only the college experience can give. The majority of things I have learned from college have been outside of the classroom. I will pass down my knowledge for whoever finds it useful. Here we go! If you are offended, that probably means that I’m talking about you. Sorry. The first step to recovery is admitting the problem. We all have them.
You can call this part of my column ‘Baron Uncensored’
My fellow Gentlemen:
1.) Wearing tight fitting Texas Tech Football athletic gear does not mean that you are on the team. I’m sorry to bust your bubble. In the event that you do want to be on the team come try out, we would love to have you (no sarcasm intended). Oh, and the girls that find you interesting because they think you play on the team are not the girls that you want in your life. They are referred to as groupies or also commonly known as cleat or jersey chasers, and if by chance those are the girls that you go for. Ill pray for you.
2.) Wear appropriate clothes to the rec. No one cares to see your stretch marks on your arms and how quickly you have morphed. No one cares if you have muscles; this is not the Jersey Shore. Oh, and it’s the cool thing to wear deodorant when you work out. I don’t think women find the raw smell of man attractive. Only in the world of deer is the smell of must cool.
3.) While we are on the topic of hygiene this must also be addressed. So you know those little boat shoes, or Sperry’s I think they are called? Ok, so wearing those in the summer without socks makes your feet smell like death and decay. I know that some of you just got offended and are thinking “gees moron your not suppose to wear them with socks (read in Napoleon Dynamite voice)”, I am aware of that, however socks never hurt anyone. In fact I think if you ask any foot doctor they will tell you not wearing socks with your shoes and getting sweaty feet causes athletes foot. But what do I know; I’m no foot doctor! I’m just someone who has had a first hand experience with smelly Sperry feet. Oh, and don’t think that other people cant smell. However, you don’t have to worry about this issue with black guys because we wear socks with everything, especially Jordan sandals.
4.) The Axe body spray commercials are advertised well, but the result of a body drenched in Axe is false. Girls will not flock to you and kiss your neck. They will hold their breaths, and then talk about you behind your back. If you want to smell good this is what you do. Bathe regularly, ditch the body spray and buy some quality cologne and don’t use that excessively either. One spray in the air then walk underneath it, that’s the trick.
5.) No one is a good drunk driver! Don’t do it! I know everyone has had the friend that say’s “dude, I’m good! I drive better when I’m drunk, honestly alcohol doesn’t effect me when I drive. (Preferably read in surfer voice)” You sir, are what I would like to call a moron. Fellas, it is not admitting weakness by asking someone to take you home because you have drank too much. Your car will always be waiting for you the next day, most of the time.
6.) Don’t approach a girl and say “hey I’ve seen you on Facebook”, even if that’s the truth. If you are ever called a Facebook creeper just counter the verbal attack by saying that you don’t ever creep, you just pursue intently! In the event that a girl approaches you and says “hey I saw you on Facebook”, be flattered and send her a friend request immediately. Oh, and don’t put up on your facebook profile that your looking for random play, it’s not cool. Also, Facebook is not for putting all your drama out in the public. For men everywhere, if you try to be a Facebook ‘player’ you will get caught 100 percent of the time. Girls aren’t stupid, and have a built in detective instinct.
7.) Trying to be the class clown is no longer cool in college, it actually becomes annoying.
8.) Brush your teeth in the morning, even if your really tired and late for class. Sometimes you can’t tell you have bad breath, but other people always can. However, if you do forget to brush your pearly whites, gum will do the trick. Preferably stride layers. I wouldn’t mind if that’s what my diploma is made of.
9.) Don’t go commando. You never know when that plan might backfire.
10.) Your mode of transportation says a lot about a person. Walking and taking the bus is ideal. Biking is cool. Skateboarding and long boarding can be pulled off. Roller blades are a no-no.
1.) Wearing Nike running shorts and Ugg boots with only a North Face fleece when it is below freezing is stupid. This doesn’t make you look cute. Everyone can see that you are cold because your legs are covered in goose bumps and looked like someone plucked the feathers off of a chicken.
2.) Frozen yogurt from Spoonful is not a substitute for an actual meal no matter how many of your Ugg footed friends say so. I totally understand counting calories and I know that yogurt is a healthy choice, but sometimes calories are your friend! Sometimes they do cool things for you, like keep you alive.
3.) The elliptical machine at the rec does not actually do anything for you. Your walk from your car into the rec probably burned more calories than the elliptical machine does. Just because you walk into the rec doesn’t mean that you have worked out. Also please be understanding and not so harsh to the guys that approach you at the rec, you are the reason that 99 percent of the guys are there. Just because you do Zumba, doesn’t mean you are that hardcore at working out. A girl once asked me “how hard are football workouts?” I responded “not too bad” she then said “ Bet you couldn’t do a Zumba class.” Um, yeah ok. You got me there.
4.) Eating Josie’s every night will make you fat. The Freshman 15 is not a myth. It does not discriminate. You cannot hide from it in a Zumba class. It will kick down the door! ‘It’s gon’ find you’
5.) Don’t call guys creepers because girls do the same thing, its just that guys like it. Well, to an extent.
6.) Cursing all the time to sound cool actually doesn’t make you sound cool at all.
7.) Be presentable. Believe me I understand that we all run late, but that’s not an excuse to not brush your hair, or teeth. Puppy breath is only cute when it’s actually coming from a puppy, and its not really that cute then; let alone when it comes from the girl sitting beside you in class.
8.) Girls contrary to popular belief, your feet can stink just as bad as guys if you don’t wear socks. I know these things seem elementary, but you would be surprised.
9.) Just because a Metroplex restaurant comes to Lubbock (Chipolte, Einstein Bagels, Raising Canes) doesn’t mean that you have to sleep outside waiting for it to open to get a taste. I promise, eventually you will get some. This goes for guys too.
10.)Ok ladies, its not cool to act stupid when you aren’t. For example, if someone tells a joke that you don’t find funny or obviously don’t understand, you don’t have to laugh. If you’re a girl and your laughing right now, I’m talking to you. I’m not actually able to hear you laughing you know. You can stop now. Ok I was just kidding. Proceed with laughter. In the event that you actually are stupid, please don’t try and act smart. It will only make you look more stupid. Professor: “So would it be fair for African Americans to receive reparation for their sufferings?” Stupid girl trying to act smart: “ I feel like we have already repaired many of the black communities.” That is a true story and actually happened. If you laughed at that, good! If you didn’t, don’t act like you did. Its ok.
If any of that offended you, I am offended that you got offended.
Hopefully this column made you cry, but for a different reason! This week’s food for thought is this. If laughter is the best medicine, do you need to go see the doctor?
Wreck em’ and God Bless