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November 19, 2007


Blazer Fans,

With the holiday season quickly approaching, it's always appropriate to sit back, assess your situation and reflect on what it is you have to be thankful for. This past weekend, on the surface, was one you could almost totally scratch from your list. But a closer look may lead you to a different conclusion.

It was painful to see the Blazer football team have its long winning streak over Memphis come to an end. The "Battle for the Bones" was won by the Tigers. It would've been awfully nice to see the seniors go out with a spotless record against Memphis, but it wasn't meant to be.

The UAB men's basketball team had a rough trip to Daytona Beach. Three losses in three days at the Glenn Wilkes Classic weren't in anyone's pre-season plans, and a season-ending knee injury certainly made the weekend's events even harder to stomach. Paul Delaney III hurt his knee in the game against Georgia Southern, and on Monday, it was announced the senior guard will have surgery for a torn ACL.

The volleyball team made it to the championship match of the Conference USA Tournament, but the Blazers were unable to defend their title after dropping a 3-2 decision to Tulsa. Women's basketball fell at Auburn on Saturday afternoon, and Audra Smith's team is now 1-2 on the young season.

How in the world do you take something positive from these results? Good question. It starts with an optimistic outlook on things. It continues with a firm belief that things will get better.

I'll begin at the topůthe very top. Director of Athletics Brian Mackin not only leads the athletic department, but he also loves the Blazers. He wore the green and gold on the baseball diamond, and he has a wonderful vision for each and every aspect of the department. His leadership, his energy, will trickle down to every program and every facet of UAB Athletics.

We are fortunate to have some outstanding coaches here at UAB. Some of the records may not be what we, or they, want right now, but I believe with all my heart the future is bright. Neil Callaway is instilling discipline, toughness and a work ethic that will turn this football program into a contender...quickly. Mike Davis and Audra Smith are both dealing with adversity, but they are also positive, upbeat, and well-equipped to handle the tough times and ultimately prosper, just like every other coach on the UAB campus.

I'm thankful for hard-nosed, no-nonsense coaches who will teach young men and women how to compete and how to persevere, even when things aren't going well. I'm thankful for redshirts, especially one that will let Paul Delaney come back for another year. I'm thankful for sound leadership and a growing fan base that will support a still-young department's lofty goals for growth and improvement. And on a very personal level, I'm thankful for individuals who believed in me and my abilities. I have waited many years for an opportunity like this, and I am so very thankful to be the "Voice of the Blazers."

Keep those heads upůstay positive. It is still a great time to wear the green and gold.

It's another busy at home on Wednesday night at 7 PM and again at 1 PM on closes out the season on Saturday afternoon at Marshall. And during this hectic time of year, I'm also thankful for our affiliate stations who help us bring you as much of the action as possible. Wednesday's basketball game and Saturday's football game can be heard on HOT 107.7 FM, while Saturday's basketball game can be heard on WAPI-AM 1070.

I wish you all a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving.



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