Words from Sam

Words From Sam

Fair Weather Fan

It’s Good Friday and the markets are closed.  It’s a rainy afternoon and we are having some family time.  By the time you read this, David and I will be fully immersed in the Scottish culture. We will be on our annual Voya trip which, this year, is in Scotland.  It should be a week full of fun, fellowship and of course, golf!

Since my last blog, it seems like so much has happened that has caught my attention.  More details have emerged about the 2ndBoeing 737 Max crash, the Virginia Cavaliers won the Men’s NCAA national championship (more on this), Tiger returned to the big stage with his 15thmajor win and a fire ravaged the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.

While my wife and I were watching the news of the cathedral burning and asking ourselves where in the heck the fire trucks were, we learned all the relics had been safely removed and that was good news. As we feared the cathedral would be completely destroyed (it was not), my wife looked at me and said, “It’s just a building. It’s all about the Savior not a structure.” 

This is probably the same response you would get from Tony Bennett, the newly crowned national championship coach of Virginia. I love it when the good guys win and I do not think this is an exception.  He is a man of strong faith; not afraid to talk about it and apparently lives his life as an example of his faith.

Now, should Virginia have won?  Was it luck, was it fate…or was it faith?  So much crazy stuff had to happen for Virginia to win and it did, and they won!  The way they won the overtime game against Purdue to advance to the final four was crazy. Then, there was the matter of the controversy of the Auburn game.  That debate will be long lasting, with an apparent double dribble not being called, then the foul called on the 3-point shot that resulted in Kyle Guy draining all three foul shots for the win.  The next game was little easier as they defeated Texas Tech to win the national championship.

I love basketball but I rarely watch until March Madness.  It is so exciting!  When I was growing up, all I wanted to do was play ball.  This desire finally subsided after I turned 40.  I think most of you know that I have an Accounting degree from Clemson but I started out in Engineering.  Even though I did well and thought I could have been a great engineer, I was drawn to accounting.  I joke and say that majoring in Engineering did not mesh well with my desire to play basketball everyday for 2-3 hours!  

Even though I did not get a degree in Engineering, I still have a mechanical mind, thus my extreme interest in what went wrong with the Boeing 737 Max.  One of my long-held beliefs is that American engineers are second to none.  This is an area where the rest of the world can not compete.  When engineering goes awry, it is disturbing to me.

Boeing has a duopoly with Airbus.  They are each going to sell a lot of jets regardless.  The Boeing 737 has been a global workhorse. It first flew in the 60s and Boeing was about to do a complete redesign until Airbus announced they were not going to redesign their competing jets. Airbus decided they were simply going to install new fuel-efficient engines on the existing design.  Boeing decided to follow suit.

There was one big problem for Boeing.  These new, fuel efficient engines were larger.  Boeing would need to change the position of the jets on the wings of the 737 Max.  This changed the aerodynamics of the plane which had the potential to cause the plane to go into a high-speed stale on takeoff.  To counter this, Boeing designed a software system to drive the nose down, should the plane start to stall.  The software did not work properly and this is believed to be the cause of two brand new 737 Max crashes.  It is sad that American engineering failed.  It is much sadder that over 346 people lost their lives due to this.

Now back to Tony Bennett.  When Virginia won the final game and he was being interviewed after the game, he gave credit to his dad, the players for always believing and to the Lord.  He has a strong faith and I am sure his faith held the team together after the team’s first round loss the year before in the NCAA tournament.  In 2018, Virginia was the overall number 1 seed in the tournament. All they did was become the first team ever to lose their opening game as the top seed.  They were embarrassed and humiliated.  They could have quit, but they didn’t.  They believed and they came back.  They overcame a crazy turn of events to take home the trophy.  

And now for the mother of all comebacks – Tiger.  Tiger has been through so much, both obvious self-inflicted wounds as well as other injuries.  Tiger has had four knee surgeries and four back surgeries.  It was debated if he would ever play again after over two years off, much less win again; another major at that!  Tiger was on pace to blow past Jack Nicklass, but life got in the way.  How often does life get in the way of us achieving all we can?

After winning the Masters, Tiger seems back on track to potentially chase Jack’s record 18 major wins.  If nothing else, he has revitalized the game just with his competitive presence.  

I believe Tiger has a chance to win 19 major golf tournaments. I believe he can do it because I know HE believes he can do it.  Some of you may have seen the clip of toddler Tiger when he proclaimed he was going to beat Jack.  This has been his compass for all the years he has been playing golf.  He believes he can do so. He may just do it.  

Belief is the one thing that separates those that reach their goals and those that do not.  Tony Bennett believed he could win it all.  Dabo believed he could win it all and he believes he can continue to win.  I am sorry Gamecock fans but I do not believe Dabo is done!  I did not know until a client told me what Dabo had done for Coach Bennett.  Out of nowhere, per Coach Bennett, he received a text from Dabo that said, “let the light that shines in you be brighter than the light that shines on you”. As Holy Week comes to a conclusion, I am going to take Dabo’s words to heart!  GodBless!

2018

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