Friday Flashback: 1906 Chicago Cubs


With almost everyone a Cubs’ fan right now as they host their first World Series game since 1945, we go back to 1906 when the Cubs still hold the record for the highest winning percentage in a single season when they won 116 games and lost 36 for a .763 winning percentage.  This is the highest ever in modern Major League Baseball history to date.

The Cubs finished 20 games ahead of the New York Giants.  They moved into first place on May 9th and were almost unbeatable in the last two months of the season as they had winning streaks of 11, 14 and 12 games during a stretch when they posted a 50-8 record.  Their longest losing streak was three games.

Frank Chance was the manager and also played first base.  The key players for the Cubs were second baseman Johnny Evers, shortstop Joe Tinker and pitcher Mordecai Brown.

Unfortunately, the Cubs were defeated by the Chicago White Sox in the 1906 World Series.  Some consider it one of the greatest upsets in World Series history.

The Cubs dominated the league as they led the league in runs scored and fewest runs allowed.  Their record of 116 wins has never been beaten, although it was tied by the 2001 Seattle Mariners.

The Cubs finished 107-45 in 1907 and won their first World Series over the Detroit Tigers.


Most Memorable Moments in Lit Support


Officially, I have been doing this line of work since 1996 and over the past 20 years I have been involved in hundreds of trials.  This experience has given me some memorable moments that I will not forget.   Here are just a few:

  • While awaiting a verdict from the jury, I was packing up some equipment that we used in the trial.  The defense attorney said, “Mr. Hooper, good job.  That was some good technology the government used.”   His client sitting next to him added, “Yeah man, that was pretty cool.”    He was later convicted of conspiracy, making false statement and wire fraud.
  • During a break in the trial, the main defendant in a prescription drug trial walked over to me and asked how much the equipment costs that I was using.  He said, “I would like to buy one of those to use to teach my Sunday School class if I am not in jail.”    He didn’t have to buy one since he was convicted on 32 counts of wrongfully distributing prescription drugs.
  • Sitting at the table during a huge conspiracy trial, one of the attorneys whispered to me:  “Get the tape ready.”   Puzzled, I asked:  “What tape?”   They apparently had not informed me that they were going to play a videotape of a fire for the next witness.  I grabbed the tape and rushed down to the post office and found a VCR where I cued up the tape then rushed back into the courtroom in time for playing the tape.
  • A defendant representing themselves is always quite entertaining.  In one of these trials, the defendant started referring to me as “media man” until he learned my name.  It was the same as his.  He spent a few minutes on that until the judge told him just to refer to me as the Government’s Technical Expert instead of my name.
  • In a very sensitive case, I had to set up separate monitors for the jury so that the gallery could not see the evidence that we were going to present.  As the trial started, the defense attorney complained that the monitors were in his way of seeing all the jury members.   The judge rejected his statement and said “I have instructed Mr. Hooper to set up these monitors and if they are in the way then you need to move.”
  • In a death penalty case, I had spent all morning setting up the equipment and was having trouble with the monitor in the witness stand when the judge decided to come in early.  I had to stop and return to the table not sure if the monitor would work then when it came time, I pressed the button on my control panel and it worked.  Whew!
  • In preparation for closing arguments in one of the longest trials I had ever been involved in, I set up the PowerPoint presentation that the attorney was going to use.  After setting it up, I had to go to another courtroom to set up some equipment.   As I was leaving, one of the observing attorneys asked:  “Aren’t you going to stay?”   I answered:  “No, I have another courtroom to go to right now.”   He asked:  “What is something goes awry?”   I responded:  “Then it goes awry”
  • In the middle of another prescription drug trial, I got a message that our attorney was having problems with the document camera.  I walked in, pushed the on button and left.   I heard several jurors snicker as I passed on the way out.
  • In the boring stretch of a trial of a cult leader, I switched my computer and killed the display to the monitors and started playing solitaire.   The judge was smiling at me and then I realized that I hadn’t killed his monitor.

Yes, there has been several entertaining moments in this job.  I assume that I can handle stress pretty well since there have been many moments that challenged me.  There are many more moments I’m sure that I will think of later that I forgot to include in this list.  Many times they refer to the time in the courtroom in this job as being in the “hot seat” and it is clear why.   It doesn’t matter how much you prepare, there is always something new that is going to blindside you sooner or later.

Team of the Week: Los Angeles Sparks


The Los Angeles Sparks won their first Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) title since 2002 when Nneka Ogwumike’s connected on a short jump shot with 3.1 seconds left to give the Sparks at 77-76 win over the Minnesota Lynx in Game 5 of the series.

The Lynx were playing in their fifth title series in the last six years.

There was some controversy in the game as Renee Brown,  WNBA chief of basketball operations and players relations, released a statement that in reviewing the postgame video, Ogwumike’s shot with 1:14 remaining should not have counted due to a shot-clock violation.  Earlier in the series, the officials missed an 8-second backcourt violation that benefitted Minnesota in Game 4.  The Lynx won the game 85-79 to force the deciding game.

Candace Parker and Kristi Toliver joined Qgwumike as the team’s leading players in 2016.  The Sparks defeated the Chicago Sky in the semifinals, 3 games to 1.

In the finals:

  • Game 1:  Los Angeles 78, Minnesota 76
  • Game 2:  Minnesota 79, Los Angeles 60
  • Game 3:  Los Angeles 92, Minnesota 75
  • Game 4:  Minnesota 85, Los Angeles 79
  • Game 5:  Los Angeles 77, Minnesota 76

This was the Sparks’ third WNBA title having won the title in 2001 and 2002.




Driving 101: Navigating Pedestrians


Another huge problem with driving in and around Nashville is the constant issues with drivers and pedestrians.  We have a lot of tourists and visitors here every week.  I have yelled at many people as a pedestrian myself when I have seen them walk when they aren’t supposed to.  On at least two occasions I have helped someone from being hit by a car.  Even as cautious and obey-by-the-rules guy that I am, I have also had my own close calls was distracted or aggressive drivers.

Here are the rules for dealing with pedestrians:

  • STOP for pedestrians at crosswalks.  Don’t roll through it or try to beat the pedestrian through the crosswalk.
  • Be patient, especially with seniors or pedestrians with disabilities who need more time to cross the road.
  • Slow down and obey the posted speed limit.
  • Yield to pedestrians when turning.  This is one of the most common problems.  Drivers do not want to wait for pedestrians to move safely through the crosswalk when turning.
  • Be especially alert at night.  Not all pedestrians will wear reflective clothing.

Even if pedestrians are not obeying the rules or the signs that are posted, drivers should still yield.  A pedestrian can’t compete in a game of chicken with an automobile.   Pedestrians are SUPPOSED to give the right of way to moving vehicles but it doesn’t always work that way.  If a pedestrian is already in the crosswalk and crossing then a driver must stop.

The main thing for drivers to have when navigating traffic with pedestrians is PATIENCE.  The city is a tourist attraction and there are going to be people downtown.  We all need to factor that into our drive and make sure that we all get to where we are going safely.




Georgia High School Football Review: Week 10

The games get bigger as the schedule winds down.  Don’t look now but I think Valdosta is for real.  The #1 ranked team in Class 6A kept their place on top with a 27-7 win over Lee County which had that position just two weeks ago after their big win over Houston County.  The Wildcats are one win away from their first region title since 2011.

Also in the same region, Northside-Warner Robins defeated Coffee County 17-14 and will face city rivals Houston County this week.  

All of the #1 teams in each classification won with Roswell needing a 6-yard run from Sheldon Evans with a minute left to edge Etowah 17-14.

Islands beat Windsor Forest 20-13 for their first homecoming victory while also giving the Sharks their first three-game winning streak.  The turning point of the game came when Islands held the Knights on a fourth-and-one from the Sharks’ 6-yard line with the scored tied at 13-13.  The Sharks are now 3-4 overall and 3-1 in the region.  The Sharks need one more win to qualify for the playoffs.

The biggest upset of the week was Greene County’s 42-14 win over Lincoln County.  It was the most points Greene County has ever scored in the series.  

Top Teams:

  • Class 7A:  Roswell (8-0) beat Etowah 17-14.  Next:  Woodstock (5-3)
  • Class 6A:  Valdosta (7-1) beat Lee County 27-7.  Next:  Coffee (5-3)
  • Class 5A:  Buford (7-1) beat Walnut Grove 38-6.  Next:  Loganville (7-1)
  • Class 4A:  Cartersville (9-0) beat Chapel Hill 48-7.  Next:  Troup (7-1)
  • Class 3A:  Greater Atlanta Christian (8-1) beat North Hall 42-14.  Next:  at Dawson County (6-1)
  • Class 2A:  Benedictine (8-0) beat Bacon County 65-7.  Next:  Metter (2-5)
  • Class 1A (Public):  Clinch County (7-1) beat Lanier County 52-0.  Next:  at Charlton County (2-5)
  • Class 1A (Private):  Eagle’s Landing Christian (8-0).  Next:  Mount Vernon Presbyterian (5-3)

USA Today Top 10  – Southeast Team Rankings

  1. IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
  2. McGill-Toolen, Mobile, Ala.
  3. St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  4. Roswell, Ga.
  5. Mill Creek, Hoschton, Ga.
  6. American Heritage, Plantation, Fla.
  7. Dutch Fork, Irmo, S.C.
  8. Oakland, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  9. Grayson, Loganville, Ga.
  10. Apopka, Fla.

Listening To God:  How does He speak to us today?

There have been numerous books and classes taught on how to listen to God.  I have often said that the main obstacle with prayer is that God doesn’t talk to us like you and I talk to each other – in an audible voice.  I have been puzzled by that many times and no one has been able to adequately explain why.  When you read in the Bible, you will see that he very much spoke to people but that gets explained away by the experts that when Jesus Christ went back to heaven that He sent the Holy Ghost.  Well, aside from those who think the practice of “speaking in tongues” is the way He speaks to us today, the Holy Ghost He sent back to us is also silent as well.

So DOES God – or the Holy Ghost – speak to us really?

He can and he will but once again not in an audible voice.

In my experience, the best way to listen to God is when I am quiet in a quiet place.  Silencing our minds and our environment around us.  Do you know how hard that is to do?  Try sitting in silence.  Our world is obsessed with noise and distractions.  No wonder people have a hard time hearing from God.  Noise is a part of our lives.

The only way we can hear from God is when He has our undivided attention.  Sitting still.  Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”   It is difficult to hear from God when we are going in a million directions and have noise filling our ears.

It would be so easy for us if God spoke to us audibly but when God speaks in the quiet of our souls, it forces us to pay attention.   Being still is a lot of work and requires time and effort on our parts to get to the place where God can speak to us.

So when we get quiet and still, how does God speak?  When you clear your mind and open yourself to want to hear for God he will speak to your mind.  This isn’t something we can do rather flippantly either.  It takes work to separate your own thoughts from God speaking to you.  One rule of thumb to remember is that if you think God is speaking to you and it is against his character then it is not from God.  So what does this mean?  It means it takes practice to discern the voices in your head.  You have to build a relationship with God.  Yes, reading the Bible is a huge part of it but necessary if you are going to learn about God’s character.  You can’t let a preacher, church or writer in a blog tell you this.  You have to experience it yourself.  

In recent years I have gotten more quality time listening to God when I have been sitting quietly in a park or enjoying nature than sitting on a church pew.  I spent years sitting on the pew and have never experienced God like I do now.  I can only speak for myself.  I can’t speak for you.  

It is too easy to constantly ask God for things but don’t stop to listen or be still.  The act of being still and getting quiet is a challenge in our hectic world.  God wants us to be still so that we can have a relationship with him and so that we can have peace and receive guidance.  

Silence scares us.  When we are silent we are often forced to face ourselves and issues we might be avoiding.  We can easily block it out by turning on the television, surfing the Internet or texting.  When we are silent before God, we can turn from us being in control to allowing God to guide us.  It makes room for God’s presence when we aren’t doing all the talking or wanting to have our own way.  

It takes practice.   Isn’t having peace in our lives worth it?

Friday Flashback: 1992 National League Championship Series – Game 7

Ask any Atlanta Braves fan and they will get that warm fuzzy feeling in their stomach they experienced when they witnessed Sid Bream score the game-winning run to win the 1992 National League Championship Series and advance to their second consecutive World Series appearance.

The Atlanta Braves had risen from obscurity in the 1991 season when they won the NLCS against the same Pittsburgh Pirates but came up short to the Minnesota Twins in the World Series.  The Braves and Pirates met again for the 1992 National League pennant.

Atlanta took a 3-1 lead in the series but Pittsburgh came back to tie the series at 3 to force another seventh game.

In the deciding game, the Pirates scored first as Alex Cole led off with a walk, advanced to third on a double by Andy Van Slyke, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Orlando Merced.  In the sixth inning, Jay Bell scored on a single by Van Slyke which the Pirates took the lead going into the bottom of the ninth inning.

Terry Pendleton led off the ninth inning with a double.  David Justice followed with a sharp grounder to Pirates’ second baseman Jose Lind, who misplayed the ball which allowed the runners to reach base at the corners with no outs.  Sid Bream was walked on four pitches from Doug Drabek.  Drabek was replaced by Stan Belinda.  Ron Gant hit a deep fly ball to Barry Bonds which allowed Pendleton to score.  Damon Berryhill was walked to load the bases again.  Belinda was able to get the next batter, Brian Hunter, to pop out for the second out.  Braves’ manager Bobby Cox sent a seldom-used utility player named Francisco Cabrera to hit for Braves’ pitcher Jeff Reardon.  Cabrera hit a line drive which allowed Justice to score.   Bream was given the green light and scored in a close play at the plate to give the Braves an improbable win.

Unfortunately the Braves went on to lose the World Series to the Toronto Bluejays.

In an interesting tidbit that I read about this game was during Cabrera’s at-bat when he hit a line drive foul before his game-winning hit, Van Slyke and Bonds got into a brief argument as Van Slyke signaled Bonds to move in closer so that Bonds could cut off a potential single and keep the runners from scoring.  Bonds gave Van Slyke the finger and refused to move then on the next swing Cabrera lined the pitch which dropped in front of Bonds.

Cabrera played one more season for the Braves and finished his career with the Orix Blue Wave in Japan.  He later managed the St. Louis Cardinals’ Dominican League affiliate.  He is the only player in Major League Baseball history to win a postseason series with a hit during an at bat in which he could have lost the series with an out.

Bream played for the Braves in 1993 then signed with the Houston Astros in 1994 and seeing limited action as a pinch hitter.

The Pirates never recovered from their loss to the Braves.  They would not have another winning season for the next 20 years and did not make another postseason appearance until 2013.

Until 2008, the Braves were the last team to win a seventh game after blowing a 3-1 series lead.

At least for one cool night in October, Braves fans will remember it warmly.