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3 posts from November 2010

November 09, 2010

Thank you, Organ Donors


Leigh Kristy and Sean Edward Gordon-Davis

Yesterday in South Africa our nephew, Sean Edward Gordon-Davis, got a new kidney. Born with only one (and it had issues), he's known this day was coming and endured years of dialysis. A few months ago his sister, Leigh Kristy, was set to be his donor for surgery this month, but final medical tests found a glitch and she was ruled out for at least a year.

But one family with a terrible loss turned their grief into an incredible gift for Sean and his family on Monday. In their sorrow they chose organ donation. How does one begin to thank people who look for ways to extend or enhance the life of someone else when tragedy strikes them? I think all you probably can do is find a way to pay it forward.

While some organs can't be removed until death, you don't have to wait to donate a kidney or part of your liver, lung, pancreas or your intestine.  Seventy-seven people In the U.S. receive organ transplants every day, and 19 die waiting for transplants that can't take place because of lack of donors. Consider registering in your state as an organ donor, indicate the decision on your driver's license, download a donor card to carry in your wallet and talk to your family about your donor decision.

To the family whose loss was Sean's gain, bless you.

November 03, 2010

So long, Big Red

It's going to feel a little strange when Nebraska plays Iowa State in Ames on Saturday. Because it most likely will be the very last time we see the Cornhuskers at Jack Trice Stadium.

That's too bad, and I say that even though the games with Nebraska usually have turned out  badly for Iowa State. They've been playing each other since 1896 and this will be the 105th game between the two rivals, though it's hard to call the series a rivalry because it's so lopsided. Iowa State has won only 18 of those games.

Still, the Cornhuskers always have been an attraction when they showed up. They had such tradition and such good players. No matter how much you'd read about Turner Gill, Mike Rozier, Roger Craig, Ahman Green, Tommie Frazier, Eric Crouch and, the best name of all, I.M. Hipp, and no matter how often you watched them on TV, it was much more interesting to see them in person.

Besides, the Nebraska helmets always were good for a joke, you know, the one about the big red "N" standing for Nowledge.

The few times Iowa State did manage to beat Nebraska made it all the more satisfying for the Cyclones. Heck, in most cases, it made their season. To this day, the most memorable play I've ever seen from the Cyclones came against Nebraska. It was the 1992 game and if the name Marv Seiler pops to mind, we're thinking alike.

Iowa State prevailed 19-10 in a game it had no business winning. Nebraska was ranked seventh in the country and coming off routs of Colorado (52-7) and Kansas (49-7), both nationally ranked. Iowa State was 3-6 and a 28-point underdog.

The Cyclones led 12-10 early in the fourth quarter after four Ty Stewart field goals, but it seemed inevitable that Nebraska would get serious, score a couple of quick touchdowns and put it away. That was Seiler, a fifth-year senior making the first start of his career at quarterback, became an unlikely hero. From his own 20, Seiler kept the ball on an option to the right, found daylight as he turned upfield and headed for the far-off end zone.

Marvelous Marv went 78 yards before safety Tyrone Byrd dragged him down 2 yards short of a touchdown. Byrd caught Seiler about 20 yards earlier and tried to strip the ball as he rode him. Then, it was like Byrd realized, "Hey, I better bring this guy down before he scores."

Fullback Chris Ulrich did score on the next play, but it  wouldn't have mattered if he hadn't. Seiler's run had dissipated whatever wind was left in Nebraska's sails.

After Saturday, Nebraska can start a new rivalry in this state. The Cornhuskers are leaving the Big 12 for what they perceive as greener pastures in the Big Ten and they'll play Iowa every year. It'll be fun to see how that matchup develops over the years.

Any Iowa future Iowa State-Nebraska game would have to come in a bowl. At least, that's the only time they should meet.  Scheduling Nebraska as a non-conference opponent would be absolutely foolish. With the Cyclones playing nine conference games starting next season and Iowa on the schedule for the foreseeable future, ISU needs to fill those other slots with schools that have directions or hyphens in their name. Nebraska-Omaha is fine. Nebraska is not.

And here's another piece of advice for Iowa State administrators: Don't even think about scheduling Utah again.


November 01, 2010

A Rally Message: Eat, Pray, Vote

On Saturday I was part of the overflowing crowd of 215,000 who traveled to the National Mall for Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity (along with Stephen Colbert's Rally to Restore Fear). It shut down streets, overloaded the transit system and eliminated cellphone calling for blocks. Not that I was trying to tweet or contribute to Facebook. I was too caught up in the moment while being pressed into thousands of other happy people who were just glad to be there to laugh (takes much less effort than hating), soak up the signs and attention-getting costumes, and use my presence to make a statement: civility matters!

Here are just a few of the many memorable signs: Think Outside the Fox; Tea Parties are for Little Girls and Mad Hatters; If You Don't Believe in Government Perhaps You Shouldn't Run for it; New Conservative Ideas: (followed by a large empty space); I Don't Like It When You Yell at Me Like That; Team Fear; and We Have Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself...and Maybe Sarah Palin.  

But the sign I want to share most is shown below. Hope you're proud to be doing the same on Tuesday.