Todd Bynum

God and Athletes

July 7th, 2012 at 11:46 am by under Sports

The mix zone at the US Swimming Olympic Trials is an interesting place. Swimmers compete in their events and immediately must walk down about 7 feet of stairs to a row of media members asking questions about how the race went, what happened on that turn, etc. The swimmers are usually out of breath from competing and since your right there you get the first thing that comes to mind. Most of your NFL and NBA and even NCAA basketball players get what we call a “cool down” period of about 15 minutes to gather their thoughts. I think that’s why football players have a lot of time to reflect and why all of the winners “thank God” for their achievements. I know Tim Tebow some feel has taken it to unprecedented heights and but appreciate he actually thanks God win or lose. We could talk all day long about Tebowing and all the great things he does bringing people to the games and all of his good deeds and honestly I like Tim Tebow for all that he does. I believe if your going to have faith and praise God, you need to do it all the time and not be afraid to show God the glory for your success. The part that gets tricky is when there’s failure. Who takes the blame then? or gets the credit for the loss? Visualizing all of that, let’s head back to the mix zone; where swimmers have worked sometimes 4 years chasing a dream of going to the Olympics putting in countless hours of hard work chasing that dream. emotion runs high here as some rush by to warm down and would rather not talk about what just happened good or bad. Others are more seasoned and will stop and enjoy the process. We interviewed a lot of swimmers over the course of a week while we were at the Olympic Trials in Omaha; there was Michael Phelps, Natalie Coughlin, Brendan Hansen, Eric Shanteau, Missy Franklin, Cammile Adams, Ricky Berens, Michael Klueh — you get the idea. One swimmer in particular win or lose always had a bright smile and words of wisdom. Kathleen Hersey had been through a lot this year, losing her mother and other different challenges and it wasn’t until close to the end that she punched her ticket to London in the women’s 200 Breast getting second to Cammile Adams. Kathleen hadn’t made it in her previous 2 races but always with a smile in the mix zone talked about how she was just getting the nerves out and had faith God had a plan for her and was sticking to it. That’s why at the end it wasn’t a surprise to hear her give thanks to God for everything swimming has given her allowing her to communicate with her mother and helping guiding her thru the last year. Ricky talked about praying he was going to make it the last 50 meters and so each of the swimmers once they had made it to London and their Olympic dream found a way to show their appreciation for the talents they were given. I guess you can make up your own mind but for me — thanking God in the moment, fresh off victory or defeat is impressive. That’s why I appreciate guys like Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow who always have show their thanks for what God has done and I’m glad to welcome Kathleen to the group. I interviewed her about 2 months ago and was so impressed with her Zen approach to life and how she’s dealt with life and still chased her dream. Believe what you want, think what you want about athletes who praise God for victories — but I think we should appreciate athletes who are consistent in their praise win or lose. Everyone shows their faith in different ways and I’m sure a lot of athletes choose to show their thanks to God quietly because of what they think folks might say. I don’t think God picks winners and losers, I think it’s more about who we pick to interview and well, it’s usually the winners. I’ve never heard a question asked to those who finished second, so you think God wasn’t with you today or what. for Kathleen, I think she’s an inspiration to us all to keep trying, keep going even in defeat and always with a smile knowing that what’s important is your own faith in yourself and one of the two real powers we have as humans, the power of forgiveness and the way we react to any situation. We have the ability to show love and so it’s always awesome to see perspective in the mix zone win or lose.

the tunnel tells all…the game before the game

October 11th, 2011 at 3:32 pm by under Photo/Video, Sports

Everyone has their own pregame ritual. Walk thru any parking lot on the way tot the way to the stadium and you will run the gamete of everyone’s own idea of what makes a great pregame. The smell of brats, steaks with that special seasoning…martinis, margarita’s and beer…or iced tea…horse shoes, throwing the ball around….it’s just makes for a great time. My pregame ritual is simple….get into the stadium with the least amount of headaches and traffic even if it means getting to the game 3 hours early. Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you it is best I don’t deal with traffic.

Nothing compares to the traffic inside the tunnel at the Cotton Bowl. The players, band, Bevo and Boomer Sooner all make for a busy place where a lot of things you don’t realize happen — happen. It’s one of my favorite things, just to sit in the tunnel and watch the game before the game. This week the Freshmen played like Freshmen for the first time this year and having seen the Oklahoma tactics before the game, I can see why. All things being equal — isn’t as much fun as when Stoops and Co. try to intimidate the younger horns. It’s really fun to watch because both teams do it depending on the year and the mojo they have going. Guys like Blake Gideon aren’t affected but others have to be like wow.

First, Bob Stoops comes out early to the field and that’s not normal in most years but I feel like he was trying to win pregame this year as well. The Longhorns all came out to the field after arriving in two’s and three’s….just to walk around the field like they do for every game. The Sooners all came out together like a band of intimidators in full uniform without the shoulder pads and it looked like a remake of the movie 300. They were jumping around and I could just tell by the body language of the other players that they had taken note of the situation and were tip toeing back to the locker room. Stoops made more field appearances this year than in the past three years. The Sooners definately had a plan to intimidate the FReshmen and this year it worked. It’s the game before the game and it happens every year. You can count on the Oklahoma band to stop in front of the Texas locker room and play boomer sooner loudly and Texas does the same thing. the only one who gets everyone out of the way is Bevo. By the time the teams come out of the tunnel to start the game their has already been the pregame contest.

I’d just tell Oklahoma one thing — it might have worked this year but looking into David Ash’s eyes there in the fourth quarter — he will remember it all and next year the same tactics will not work and you can bet Bob Stoops won’t be on the field near as much next year. Next year maybe you might want to get there early like I do and watch the pregame for the game that is the infamous Cotton Bowl Tunnel.

scrambled eggs and roses

September 13th, 2011 at 10:33 pm by under Photo/Video, Sports

I remember everything being the same walking down the tunnel at the Rose Bowl as the Longhorns were preparing to play their 2nd National Championship game on this Hollywood Stage against the Alabama Crimson Tide. The lights, splendor and it was like walking onto a Hollywood set. Roger Clemens and all of the usual former greats were there on the sidelines and then I stopped and realized something was different. Different than the Michigan game, the USC National Championship game…standing amongst the Vince Young’s and Selvin Young’s and Bo Scaife’s –was Chris Simms. I went up to him and he gave me a big hug and I told him how great it was to see him wearing burnt orange and he told me it was good to be back amongst the teammates he helped build a powerhouse program with. He said it was the first time he felt comfortable coming back to Texas. I’m sure he remembers the things that fans were saying and I’m sure if Greg Davis and Mack Brown were to visit about the whole situation, they’d tell you it was all wrong and so it really wasn’t Simm’s fault — blame it on the jail break screen. I haven’t seen Chris since that game.

Fast forward to last Saturday night and I get the feeling Texas fans are up to their old tricks. Garrett Gilbert ran off the field to an echo of boo’s –Coach Brown would later reference the boo’s and say they were for him and people can boo if they want since they paid for the ticket — only problem is, they weren’t booing Coach Brown, They were booing a great young man who lead his High School team to 2 consecutive State Titles and was a Gatorade All American. He didn’t deserve that and I could go all radical and state a case for how Texas fans sometimes don’t deserve the successful programs they have but I won’t because I know there are a ton of fans who support and realize that you don’t have to boo and hate Garrett to want to see a quarterback change. Heck, they should’ve let Case play more last year and David Ash is the real deal, but so can Garrett. Too bad you can’t take all of the fans who booed that night and visit them on their job site and see what kind of performer they are. Sure you paid for the ticket but are the same people who only boo at the politicians and never vote? I’ll bet Garrett is ready for a break from the pressure and naysayers. I wonder why they continue to call out routes for GG and not for Case? How does Jaxson all of a sudden get found with Case and not GG. I think ti’s just an interesting set of play calling. I think they all get a chance to play again and this team will need all three quarterbacks to be successful this year. I just hope the next time you see GG coming onto the field you can support him at least a little bit. Learn a lesson and stop hating which is bullying which is in my opinion unacceptable.

I mean you have to wonder what plan God has for GG going thru all of this and the criticism and booing and downright hateful things people have said. There’s got to be a plan for what will be something great for such a super person. The same can be said for Case and David. I think this intrigues me to see where this all winds up knowing what I know about how the pendulum swings…and having spent many a day with Augie Garrido….it will reveal itself at the most unexpected time and I hope that each of them are ready for whatever happens.

So I wonder a lot of things. Why highly touted Quarterbacks never seem to do well at Texas — Case and David weren’t all americans like Garrett and Chris — why does a school who is one of the winning-est programs in the history of college football always love the underdog QB. I see into the eyes of each quarterback because I’m shooting tight on them at the start of every play — I can tell you that all QB’s telegraph their plays and if they off look, they usually go opposite — even Harsin is becoming predictable in the first series of downs. There’s a reason they start off slow and it’s the predictability of it all. The reason everyone loves the back up quarterback is that if they come in and do well, all of the other players can say “see it wasn’t me” …when indeed it might very well have been.

I usually try to have scrambled eggs and jalapeno’s along with Bacon on game day. I wonder what this trip Saturday down the tunnel at the Rose Bowl for Texas’s game against UCLA will bring…will I see Chris Simms again — will it feel like that magical Hollywood set — will all of the other UT greats blanket the sidelines — or will I just look at number 7 and think — glad your still wearing the burnt orange.

what is going on here……is how good it is get back home ..for the lucky ones

September 7th, 2011 at 11:12 am by under Photo/Video, Sports

First, I hope everyone is doing theri part to give donations, supplies and whatever is needed to help the fire victims all over Central Texas. I’ve been out in it for the past 3 days and I can tell you families are devastated and the fire has swept a path of distruction like I’ve never seen. The great thing is seeing the smiles on the faces of folks yesterday as they went back into Steiner Ranch. You could see tears of joy and lots of waving from folks passing me on their way back home. I can’t imagine the feeling of those who had no home to go back to. The most rewarding thing is how strong the folks who have lost everything are. We could all learn a lesson from the folks who are resolved to build back, to keep going, a lesson for all American’s during this economic time as well.

I haven’t had a chance to keep up with news on the Big 12 but there is plenty of blame to go around. I’d like to see the Big 12 be strong and go after good teams of their own but that’s unlikely to happen. Now Baylor want’s to throw a wrench into the whole deal and I’m not sure that’s necessary. The end is here for the Big 12 and maybe the commissioner shoud’ve been stronger and the schools involved not be driven by money but the strenght of the conference.

It’s all trivial when i’m watching TV and looking at folks who are going up to a piece of paper taped on the wall in Bastrop to see if they even have a home left. It seems like greed has taken over College football and the folks all over Central Texas need our help. It’s an emotional roller coaster for all of these folks and many high school football games are postponed due to the fires.

three salutes to the firefighters, the fighters and the folks helping them fight.

it’s time little brother….i’ll go this way and you go that way.

August 12th, 2011 at 4:38 pm by under Photo/Video, Sports

Enough already. This ongoing spitting match between the Texas Aggies and Texas Longhorns about the Longhorn Network amongs other things — has gotten old. I think the SEC is a good fit for the Aggies and that they would be successful in all sports. The fan base would love seeing other schools visit Kyle Field and well the other sports teams do rather well having won more National Championships than Texas the last four or five years in track, golf, tennis, etc. The Aggies need to do their thing and the Longhorns need to do their thing.

Texas doesn’t need to apologize for their network and where they have placed their athletic program financially. Everyone had a shot at their own network and quite frankly couldn’t make it happen like Texas could make it happen. BTW I’m following Mack Brown’s lead and not mentioning any names in my report until they earn a spot on my blog….The real questions is whether or not the SEC wants to grease the squeeky wheels of the Aggies?

The Aggies are a little over an hour away from a top 10 marktet in Houston. What have they done to capitalize on that? Can they say we are worth the 20 million a year to the SEC that we would demand? I think they would if they cut ties from Texas and go their own way and stop this jealousy act that no one likes. If that is where your fans want to go…then put the pedal to the metal and get after it…just don’t come crawling back.

Trust me, Texas coaches must be tired of the network cameras in their face ALL DAY LONG. Mack Brown (he’s earned a name mention on my blog btw) said it was like a SECOND JOB. that extra 15 million a year is not going to be free and the only area Texas hasn’t taken care of is the SID department. they have doubled Mack’s job load and their job load, which btw makes it hard on us.

I’m glad Texas has their own network but then again I like the Yankees, Notre Dame and USC and i’m also glad the Aggies are finally going to either put up or shut up. They have a great school (my brother and many family memebers graduated from there) so stop this inferority complex you got going on.

The Longhorns will also be fine, maybe even better. the Big 12 can bring in schools like Arkansas, LSU, Notre Dame — think big I say. I wouldn’t even be excited for the game I don’t think — well maybe cause it is fun to see Kyle Field every 2 years. Texas has set their program up for financial success for years to come and really the Network think had to have issues because it’s really the first time anyone has tried it. Blazing new trails never came easy and being the irst at something means you have the good with the bad.

so Congrats to Texas for blazing this new bold territory — now they can clean up the bad parts. Congrats to the Aggies if they go to the SEC or stay in the Big 12. the Texas Aggie borad of regents will hopefully decide this monday in a special telephone meeting which way they will go. go big and go in peach.

the only real quesiton I have is why on earth the Texas Legislature feels like they need to snif around. I think maybe some folks are best served on the sidelines and or in the stands as a spectator — so it will be a fun couple of more days.

Let’s hear it from the Olympians

July 29th, 2011 at 2:42 pm by under Photo/Video, Sports

I thought it would be good to let Trey and Brendan tell you their story instead of me going on and on when they can do a great job.

both are set for a return to the Olympic games in London. both are former athletes from Texas and yet both have had different lives the past 4 years. Trey hasn’t stopped training and feels like the best is yet to come for him in the decathlon…much like 4 time Olympic medalist Brendan Hansen feels his best days are ahead of him — all after taking almost 3 years off from competitive swimming.

One final thought from Omaha…well maybe two or three

June 22nd, 2011 at 5:30 pm by under Photo/Video, Sports

Walking around the new TD Ameritrade Stadium, there seems to be a certain lack of respect for the old Rosenblatt Stadium. There is no Rosenblatt drive in front of the stadium or anywhere around it for that matter.  It just didn’t seem right that with the new, they had forgotten the old. The old that had created the idea that the College World Series could be held in no other place than Omaha, Nebraska.  Omaha Municipal Stadium started it all and I just felt like more needed to be done to preserve the new park.

The final out for Texas and their quick departure from Omaha this year provided a chance to make one last drive to the Blatt. ONe could almost hear the roar of the crowd as we drove down the hill and saw the Blatt still standing. Taking a picture outside the fence I remembered all of the great moments I had inside. The feeling you got when you just knew something was about to happen. Augie would pull the rabbit out of the hat and sure enough, the unexpected would happen.

I’m a big fan of the new park, but somewhere the name Rosenblatt should’ve been there for all to see and understand that without that name, none of the new happens. How soon we forget.

but in this pictures — is more than a 1000 words — 60 years of moments — highs and lows.

old and new

June 20th, 2011 at 1:53 pm by under Photo/Video, Sports

Texas made it to the College World Series way back in 1950 for the opening of Rosenblatt stadium so it’s fitting to see them here at TD Ameritrade in their inagural season. There are many new things I like and others I really don’t The statue needs to move to a more prominent place. Now it’s just stuck there because I feel like maybe they thoght they had to. There is one good thing that remains and it’s even closer to get than before and that’s the traditional Zesto’s milk shake.  The field is really spectacular, even the dirt is new and looks like something off of a movie set. The old timers will tell you they love Rosenblatt, but I bet if having been here a year….you take them back to Rosenblatt next year, they prefer here. It takes a while to get over moving traditinos but eventualy they get to tell their own new stories and with that comes new character.

The field is one of the best in the country. So, like everthing else, it’s just gonna take time to get used to the enw digs.

it’s a kids game…..

June 19th, 2011 at 4:31 pm by under Photo/Video, Sports


Man times during the course of the season, you’ll see Coach Augie Garrido call time and head out of the dugout to talk to the batter. Usually it’s a situation where the Horns need a big hit or it’s a tricky situation. I think the message is just simple as “remember when you were in the back yard and playing with your dad or in Little League” or at least that we’ve been told.  That really makes it simple…it’s a kids game and when we grow older we only make it complicated with thouthts of expecations and goals we can’t control.  Much like Cole Green told us today. He had forgottne to set goals he could control. Cole spent most of the pre-season setting goals with expectations like number os wins, strike outs and pitching stats. He forgot to set a goal of just make one ptich, then the next pitch. He’s fully aware of the situation that awaits him getting the start in Monday’s elimnation game against North Carolina.  He talked openly about his struggles this year and how he now is ready for that pressure associated with elimination games in the College World Series. That’s why Augie said before the Super Regional Competition with ASU that part of the reason Cole came back was for this moment he is in now…a chance to win the National Championship and find out who he is and be the total person he wants to be going beyond even who he thought he could be. Looks like he’s well on his way and why today was a fun day.

The scene at today’s practice for North Carolina was much different than Texas.  The teams both had younsters waiting patiently for autographs and a chance to say hello. North Carolina practice at Boy’s Town and a lot of the kids were shagging BP balls for the team…and then also got a special treat taking BP with the players encouraging them on. A great sight to see on this father’s day when sometimes the best thing a father can do is put you in a postion to succeed and surround you with people who provide you with a positive influence in your life

So, if it’s a kids game and now that Cole has played the adult game of expecations….let’s hope Monday he just comes out as a kid again.


June 19th, 2011 at 4:12 pm by under Photo/Video, Sports

This is my 7th trip to Omaha. Everyyear is different and this year is no exception.  The Horns will have to come through the losers bracket for the third straight weekend if they are to advance to the Championship series and open up TD Ameritrade the same way they opened Rosenblatt — with a National Championship. I think they have a shot, but I’m an optimist when it comes to teams coached by Augie Garrido. The impossible awaits someone. who has prepared for the moment.  The only thing I didn’t like about coming this year was having to cut short my vacation with my neice and nephew to head to Omaha. This is where dreams come true and life leassons are learned. Maybe one day, he will be here, maybe not.

I could never have imagined I would have been here 7 times. This time would be the most unique if they win it all. It will be the first time since 1950 they would’ve lost the first game and came back to win. They have done it 11 times but onlyonce have they done what South Carolina did in 2010. I hope we’re here for a while but if not, I think over the next four years the opportunity to make trips 8,9 and 10 are there. I think this team will win it all in the next three years.

Cole Green says he’s ready for the ball in this CWS elimination game. Cole also started the last game in 2009 against LSU so he knows pressure. I think Taylor Jungmann just tried to hard not to lose and as Augie would say, when you try you get out of rhythm and start expecting things.

So, I’m not expecting anything, just ready to enjoy whatever magical moments appear.