Start of the semester: friendship, workout and basketball

Ok, I’ll focus on fun stuff for this post. Yesterday was the first day of the semester. While I’ll be crazy busy with teaching, I have three interesting courses (Calculus III, differential equations, second half of probability and statistics.) These are time intensive but feature interesting material.

My wife is away for a work trip. So I had the evening to myself and took Vickie (my yoga/exercise class teacher) to the Illinois State vs. Bradley basketball game. She is an Illinois State graduate.

But the game started at 8 pm so I had a chance to take the 5:30-6:30 exercise class, (core body/pilates type stuff) which Mamma T ably led. It didn’t break my heart to be lined up next to the very lovely Jennifer.


Friendship, sweating and fun…can’t beat it.

Then it was off to the Bradley Basketball game. Yes, Illinois State came in with an RPI of 27; Bradley’s was 212. Illinois State soundly defeated two teams (Wichita State, Loyola) who had dominated Bradley.
So what happened was no surprise; late in the first half ISU galloped out to a 36-11 lead and cruised to an easy 69-49 win…the game was more lopsided than the 20 point spread might indicate.

I think that ISU can win a game or two in the NCAA tournament.

But it was fun to spend time with Vickie and the visiting ISU fans.

She is saying “Go Birds”…


Us together


High energy prior to the game: 7700 plus (though the place holds 11000) The schools are only 45 miles apart, so many fans were visiting ISU fans.


And the reality:


Still, Bradley has equaled its conference win total from last year, and I STILL expect to see 3-4 more wins in the conference. Bradley HAS made progress; we just aren’t ready for such a strong team.

Workout notes:

yesterday: Cornstalk hill 4 mile walk. PM: the exercise class I talked about. 🙂

Today: early am: weights. later am (after my 9-10 class): 4 mile walk; same as yesterday

Weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (4 sets of 10, then 1 more)
bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 190, 8 x 175
incline press: 10 x 150
military press: 10 x 50 standing, 20 x 50 seated, supported (left elbow/forearm pain late), 10 x 110 machine with rotated grip
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 each arm
headstand: rough…had trouble getting into it, fell over once, and the second time, never got steady.

January 19, 2017 Posted by | basketball, Friends, spandex, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Grim weekend for Bradley Basketball

I saw two women’s games in person, and watched part of the men’s game at Indiana State.

Men Fell behind 44-22; rallied in the second half but lost 81-71. If you are 22 points down at the half, you will lose..the vast majority of the time anyway. League leading Illinois State is up (they creamed a good Wichita State team 76-62…saw that one on TV) and I am scheduled to take an Illinois State graduate to that game. Oh boy.

Women Played the league leaders: Drake on Friday night and University of Northern Iowa on Sunday. Both opponents are strong teams who have lost mostly to big-time teams…and it showed.

Drake 93, Bradley 60: in this one, Bradley was never in it.

UNI 71, Bradley 52: in this one, Bradley fell behind 21-10 in the first quarter; hung in for the next quarter and a half, and then got worn down.

The women are trying, but these teams simply had better players; currently there is a talent gap.

Nevertheless, I enjoy the games:

Drake Game



This next photo: shows a math department member (foreground) and some athletic teams that were on hand to cheer the team on.


Third quarter: reality.


UNI Game


In the stands (top row), you can see some of the men’s basketball team on hand to cheer on the women.


Halftime burpee challenge for kids. The Sunday afternoon games are very “kid friendly”.


UNI is tied for the lead in the MVC for a reason.


January 15, 2017 Posted by | basketball | | Leave a comment

Sports: Bradley Basketball (men) on the upswing…and NFL

Last night, Bradley shot the lights out (8-17 from 3 point range, 55.1 percent overall) and beat struggling Northern Iowa 72-61


Bradley just sizzled during the first half, and did enough to put the game away during the second half.


But, to be fair, UNI was without its best player, though BU was missing a key player as well.

Still, after repeated beat downs, it was nice to see BU turn the tables.

NFL: the Chargers are moving to Los Angeles…and are going to play in a stadium that holds less than 30K for at least 2 years?

Interesting…given the “empty seats” we are seeing in many stadiums, perhaps pro teams are going to “club seat only” type stadiums and relying on television for the average fans?

January 12, 2017 Posted by | basketball, football, NFL | | Leave a comment

Bradley Basketball: men lose at home 78-62, women win on road 60-53

We saw the men play last night.


Bradley got drilled 78-62 in a game that wasn’t even as close as the final score might indicate. The Loyola star scored 35 points, and LU shot 10-21 from 3 point range (8 of 14 at the half!) and 57.7 percent overall. It was 44-31 at the half.

My take: this young team had trouble handling expectations and Loyola came in spitting fire. LU was a 5.5 point favorite, but expectations had grown to the point where the local paper picked BU to pull off the upset.

I predict that we’ll see a few more disappointing efforts like this one AND a few more pleasant surprises (e. g. the previous road win vs. Evansville). BU is now 2-2 in conference play…and while 0.500 might be a stretch goalI for this team, I’ll still be disappointed with fewer than 6 conference victories (out of 18 games).

On a happier note, the women took care of business at Loyola winning 50-43; it was a great defensive effort (I picked it up in the 3’rd quarter on ESPN3.) They got big stops, rebounds after missed free throws and didn’t allow LU many second shots.

The BU defense limited Loyola to 3 points in the 3’rd quarter. The women are 5-9 on the season and 1-2 in conference and FINALLY return home this Friday. I am looking forward to it. We have season tickets and are within sort walking distance to the arena.

In fairness, the Loyola men’s team is much better than the women’s team; I fully expect LU to be in postseason play of some sort.

January 8, 2017 Posted by | basketball | | Leave a comment

Got some work to do..weight to lose

Basketball notes
Tonight, Bradley plays Loyola at home. Loyola has a higher RPI and an 11-5 record. The lost a tight game (2 points) to NC. State, lost a shootout at Drake and got BOMBED by Illinois State. They are 5.5 point favorites, but the paper is picking Bradley.

We will see how Bradley deals with expectations. I don’t know what to think; I feel that Bradley can win this game, BUT that might be a fan’s wishful thinking.

Workout notes

Ok, my weight (199.5) alarmed me, but it was post breakfast, post “gallon of coffee” and a late dinner..and this was a different scale (Riverplex as opposed to Bradley U.)

Ok, excuses aside, my weight has to come down if I am to run effectively, and my comfortable “fleece lined jeans” are slightly uncomfortable. On other other hand, pull ups are still ok (they usually become more difficult) and I am getting stronger in all of the upper body lifts.

Today’s run: still some loose snow on the ground so I decided to go to the Riverplex and grind on the treadmill. I did the “Froggy”, starting at 5.2 mph and going up every 3 minutes (by .1 mph) until I got to 51 minutes (6.8)..and got a bit too tried and lowered the pace until 54 minutes, then inched it back up over 6.0 mph until I got to 6 miles in 59:4x. (21:50 at 2 miles; 4 miles in 37:50)

Afterward, I walked just enough to get to 10K (1:02:40) and then took it to the track to walk in lane 1, when possible.

55/8 laps per mile, so I did 4.07 miles in 55:35 (14:13, 13:51, 13:55, 13:35) or 13:39 mpm. The track was a bit of a zoo; you had a Wisconsin track runner in her tiny, super tight “not quite a bun-hugger) doing strides, elderly people, people coming to a complete stop, walk joggers, normal runners, normal walkers…and as it turned out, crowd for a length, then empty. But hey, 10 miles is 10 miles.

January 7, 2017 Posted by | basketball, running, walking | , | Leave a comment

NFL, NBA or MLB: live and on TV: what do you chose?

Ok, I’ll ask a question:

on television, you get to watch ONE regular season game: MLB (major league baseball), NFL (pro football) or NBA (pro basketball).
Which do you choose? Assume that all are equally meaningful games.

Now same question, but this time, you offered a ticket (with companion of choice) of similar level to MLB, NFL, or NBA. Assume equally meaningful games, pleasant weather, etc.

January 6, 2017 Posted by | baseball, basketball, football, NBA, NFL | Leave a comment

Bradley Basketball: improved…but now comes the hard part: expectations

The Bradley Basketball (men’s team) is now 7-9 and 2-1 in Missouri Valley play.

losses: Delaware, Hofstra, George Mason, Nevada, Ball State, Texas-Arlington, Ole Miss, TCU, Wichita State. Some have been ugly.

Nevertheless, this is 2 more wins than they had ALL of last season, and within one conference win than they had all of last season.

Last season saw only 4 home wins. They’ve already matched that this year.

But now it gets hard: people are going to start EXPECTING BU home wins and sometimes dealing with expectations is tough. So I expect a few more discouraging home losses…but some “road upsets” as well.

Overall, BU is much better.

The women? They played some tough games against strong competition and that might pay dividends for the conference schedule. They FINALLY return home on Friday after next. I am looking forward to it.

January 5, 2017 Posted by | basketball | | Leave a comment

New Year 2017: Colts vs. Jaguars, Pacers vs. Magic (and I used up “spouse points”)

We celebrated New Year’s Day in Indianapolis. First, we made the Colts vs. Jaguars game (1 pm ET). Then we made the Pacers vs. Magic NBA game (6 pm ET). Lucas Oil Stadium and Bankers Life Fieldhouse are about an easy 10 minute walk apart.


The football game: The Colts won 24-20 with the winning score coming with 9 seconds to go. The irony is that the Colts won in almost exactly the same way they’ve lost this season; they were outplayed for the first 58:20 of the game, but had one last good drive. They threw an interception, lost a fumble on a “t-formation” snap from center and got a punt blocked. In fact, the Colts were outgained 470-384.

But…after getting pushed all over the field for most of the first half (and getting booed), they were down 17-0 prior to driving for a field goal. The Jaguars drove but then missed a 30 yard field goal; so the half ended 17-3.

The Colts held their own in the second half, getting a drive to cut the lead to 17-10 The defense got some stops and some turnovers, and so the Colts made it 17-17 in the 4’th. But with 2 minutes to go in the game, the Jags blocked a Colts punt; there was a delay in the game to see where the ball should go, as the punter made a desperation throw (forward)…so the ball went to the scrimmage lines.

The Jags tried three runs to force the Colts to use their time outs. They kicked a 41 yard field goal, and a touchback on the kickoff placed the Colts at their own 25 with 1:32 to go…and no time outs.

They drove it to the 20 using passes and “spike to stop the clock”. Then the Colts threw a pass that ended on the 1; a quick spike stopped the clock at 14 seconds. Time for perhaps a shot in the end zone, but they couldn’t afford a sack or a stop in the field of play. They got the TD with 9 seconds to go…on a short pass. I really thought that the Colts were finished.

The Jaguars reminded me of the Browns against the Chiefs last year; they had a bad record (and of course, still do) but came in and played hard.

My photos:

Barbara with the Bill Hudnut statue (former Mayor of Indianapolis)


Random fan.


Colts enter the field.


The action from our perch in the first row of the upper deck; I sat next to the same two ladies that I sat next to last year (for the Texans game)…4 seats over.


We then walked to the Pacers game; we had to wait a few minutes as they let people in 1 hour ahead of time. I did see a few Colts jerseys there. Note: they had a nice crowd (17,500); there were a few empty seats in the “non-luxury” sections.

The Pacers won 117-104, getting 35 points in the second quarter to lead 62-51. They shot 40.9 percent (9-22) from 3 point range; or put it this way: the Magic made 10-38…one more 3 point basket made but 16 extra attempts to achieve that! Also, the Pacers were 22-24 from the free throw line; the Magic were 10-11.

My photos


The cheerleaders


The massive scoreboard


There is someone rappelling down…hard to see but look at the center.


Pacers enter




The Turner Block Rowdies


January 3, 2017 Posted by | basketball, football, NBA, NFL, travel | , | Leave a comment

Bradley wins its conference opener 60-51 over SIU

Bradley beat Southern Illinois 60-51; it was 23-23 at the half. Basically, BU took the lead early in the second half and then, when the time came, closed it out.So now Bradley has won MORE games …in the 2016 half of this season, than they did all of the previous season.

No, Bradley is not ready to challenge for the MVC crown, but BU is no longer an easy win for most MVC opponents, at least not at home. Sure, Bradley was overwhelmed by TCU, Mississippi, Nevada and Delaware. But BU can now hold its own with typical mid-major teams. It was nice to see.




Workout notes: weights and a 2 mile walk.

Weights: pull ups (tough 3 sets of 10 then 2 sets of 10), rotator cuff, lots of kettle squats,
bench: 10 x 135, 1 x 185, 1 x 200, missed at 210, 5 x 185. incline: 10 x 150
military: 10 x 50 dumbbell (standing), 20 x 50 seated, supported, 7 x 110 different machine.
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 Hammer
headstand (better), 2 sets of abs: 10 yoga leg lifts, 12 twist crunch.

Then 2 mile walk outside.

Note: I now have 2041 miles for the year; the most I’ve had since 2008.

December 31, 2016 Posted by | basketball, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Fun, social weekend

Ok, my football teams did not do well; in the NFL the Bears and Colts lost; in college: Texas, Notre Dame, Illinois all lost big; Illinois State lost a heartbreaker playoff game..but Navy rolled by a basketball score like 75-31 over SMU.

But workouts were fine: Saturday I walked 2 miles of the FOLEPI course with Barbara and then 4.5 more miles on my own. Sunday; weights then a nice run/walk with the lovely Mama T; that was a real treat for me.

Weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10), inline (10 x 135, 10 x 150, 10 x 135), military: 2 sets of 10 x 50 standing dumbbell, 10 x 180 machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 single arm.

Photos: First two from the FOLEPI walk


Barbara with Mama T at lunch today.


Barbara, Jennifer and Me after the Second City Improv. Production at ICC last night.



The Bradley Women actually trailed D-3 Eureka after 1 quarter and lead by only 8 at the half. The third quarter saw Bradley go on a 31-8 run and BU won going away 103-58; however it was a competitive game for a half.

November 28, 2016 Posted by | basketball, Friends, running, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment