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Peoria Diocese gains a defender


This is not the kind of story you usually come across at

When he was playing professional soccer in Chile, Chase Hilgenbrinck would seek comfort in the churches to satisfy his spiritual needs and remind him of childhood Sundays spent at Holy Trinity in his hometown of Bloomington, Ill.

Even after moving back to the United States last Christmas to play Major League Soccer -- a dream of his, but just one of them -- Hilgenbrinck felt the pull of his religion...

Hilgenbrinck accepted the calling on Monday when he left the New England Revolution and retired from professional soccer to enter a seminary, where he will spend the next six years studying theology and philosophy so he can be ordained as a Roman Catholic priest....

A 26-year-old defender who was the captain of the Revolution's reserve team, Hilgenbrinck will attend Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md. After finishing his studies, he will report to his home parish in Peoria, Ill., for assignment.

Hat-tip to Indiana Brandon!

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Bill Walton

My all-time favorite Bill Walton moment, however, was Horry-related. Back during, I think, the 2003 Spurs-Lakers series Horry made a good defensive play and Walton remarked "Robbert Horry -- one of the top five defensive players in the game" and his co-broadcaster responds, "Bill, I'm not sure he's even one of the top five defensive players on the floor right now." - Matt Yglesias

Wow. Since I forswore pro basketball several years ago, I'd forgotten what a pompous and ignorant man Bill Walton is. Back when my beloved Bullies were making their runs, he never missed an opportunity to bash Jordan and Pippen and to downplay the Bulls' dominance. EVERY GAME he announced, he found an opportunity to brag about how he was superior to MJ or really anybody else on the court.

For all that however, the most ludicrous thing he ever said was against Charles Barkley. I honestly don't remember the specific game, but it had to be the '97 playoffs. Charles got embarrased on D and Walton summoned all of his definitive false authority to proclaim that "Charles Barkley was rated the worst defender in the history of the NBA!"

Every single person in my dorm room (and there were probably a dozen of us crammed in there because my roommate had the biggest TV on our floor and we had a two-TV set-up so we could watch sports and play N-64 at the same time) uttered some version of "What the f*** is he talking about?" knowing that he was of course referring to no actually existing poll except maybe one he took of his three brain cells in the split second before he said that nonsense. My roommate, however, turned to me and deadpanned: "Has he never seen Dickie Simpkins play?"


PS In other basketball-related bloggage, I think it's A-OK for whites to root for the few white boys there are in the NBA. The same year as the Walton incident, every black dude on my floor could tell you what Tiger Woods shot at the Masters. I conducted a poll: excluding mini-golf, not one of them had ever swung a golf club.* There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Even though I don't follow the game anymore, I'm happy deep down inside any time a Hispanic player makes it at any level.

*For the record, neither have I.

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On One of Our National Disgraces


"Spectators were given red noses, no word on how many people actually put them on or whether Bode Miller needed one at all."
-Debbie Elliott of NPR's All Things Considered

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Mama-Lu on the Olympics


"Was the two-man luge ever not considered gay?

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Olympic Hero


America has produced a true to life hero in Turin. 26 year old speedskater Joey Cheek won the gold medal in the 500 meter competition.

In the Q&A following his performance, he used his 15 minutes of fame to call attention to the genocide taking place in Sudan and the plight of the refugees created by the situation.

Here is an excerpt:

I'm going to be donating the entire sum the USOC gives to me, which I think is around $25,000, I'm not sure, to the organization that Johann Olaf Koss either started or gave to in 1994. And I'm going to be asking all of the Olympic sponsors that give hundreds of millions of dollars if they will also maybe match my donation to a specific project.

So, as you know, there's been some media but not a ton, especially in the U.S., in the Darfur region of Sudan. There has been tens and tens of thousands of people killed. My government has labeled it a genocide, and so I will be donating money specifically to refugees in Chad where there are over 60,000 children who have been displaced from their homes. And hopefully, if the region ever gets stabilized, hopefully from pressure through the United Nations or from the U.S. government or from some other agency, then we can go into Sudan and start programs for refugees there.

For me, the Olympics have been the greatest blessing. If I retired yesterday I would have gotten everything in the world from speedskating and from competing in the Olympics. So for me to walk away today with a gold medal is amazing. And the best way to say thanks that I can think of is to help somebody else, so I'm going to be donating my money. I'm going to try and talk to the Olympic sponsors, and if there's anyone in particular in the U.S. or Europe who's going to be reading these articles, if you'd like, check out Right To Play. You can check out their web site, it's ("

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July 2008: Monthly Archives


Mama-Lu's Etsy Shop

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