Tag Archives: basketball

7 years in Kentucky Y’all better consider me a Kentuckian now!

It’s hard to believe 7 years ago I took a job at Humana moving from Muncie to Louisville. At the time I wanted to do move somewhere new with an airport, and bus station. I know my wants are so low. Seriously though it was a struggle to get transportation besides friends out of Muncie. I wanted to try and chase a dream of being in radio, and I needed those things to try and do that.

I’ve always been a sports fan, and grew up thinking I could be in the NBA. Then my mom told me I had two strikes against me. One I was blind and 2 I was white. Now trust me I think if I were black I could have played damn it. Anyway when I moved here I liked both teams. I always thought the Kentucky Wildcats had a much better radio play by play announcer, but regardless I kept neutral.

It was 4 years ago roughly that my life and views on the world and people changed. I got a call that Ethan had killed himself. It changed me in several ways I try to tell people I love them and what they mean to me now. You never know when that last time will be. I would just come home from work and sleep. Reading was about the only thing I could do that took the numbing away.

I then got in to a radio showed called Kentucky Sports Radio with Mat Jones. It’s about sports, but it usually is the ridiculous banner that comes up that makes me enjoy it. For the first time in a month or so I could laugh again. I started really [pulling more for Kentucky. I got in to the teams that year loving the roster of guys for both Football and Basketball. In many ways it brought some new normalcy back for me.

I still have a hard time with the NFL. That was something Ethan and I shared the passion for and would talk about. I try to watch, but it hurts and that enjoyment isn’t there. Life is funny that way we all take the little things way to much for granted. I remember thinking at one point in my life no woman would come between me and my sports. I loved sports so much then Ethan dies and it’s tough to get through a NFL game.

Tonight Kentucky ended a streak of 31 years losing to Florida. I went to the game 3 years ago at Commonwealth and we should have won that game. Abby went last year I’d just got home with Frasier and decided that would be two much for him. They should have won that game, but fell short. Abby and I both until the end thought we may lose this yet, but when they won oh man we were both so happy.

Then I had to hear what Matt and the other fans thought. It made me so happy listening to folks who’ve gone for 30 years to games and finally got to celebrate. That’s the thing I like about Mat’s show. Most radio and Tv is based out of New York or has a national appeal but when you listen to Mat’s show it’s folks from this state who just love there team.

Anyway I can’t believe it’s been 7 years since taking that leap of faith that things would work out. Robin and I learned downtown, and then got a house. Now I have a wife it’s crazy how I’m becoming part of this wonderful city and state. Anyway I wanted to reflect on things tonight and I realize how fortunate things have been for me. Wrapping up go Cats!!! Also miss you bro I think about you still every day. Give Robin a hug up there,, and I’ll see you on the otherside.


Sorry for the long wait but I was parking my car

I haven’t written in a long time. Let me get you up to speed where things are. Also Happy Thanksgiving y’all.
Abby and I have been together more than a year now. Every day we get closer, with us and the two dogs we have are little family. One of my favorite trips we did so far is we went to Lexington to watch a Cats basketball game together. It was last year and they were playing LSU. I’ve gone before but usually with someone sighted who would drive me. We caught the bus here in Louisville and got to Lexington. Once there we caught a Uber to the game. We left the dogs with Jerry and Lee because we didn’t have accessible seating and I didn’t want them to get stepped on.
The funniest thing happened in Lexington. After the game we waited for the usher to help us out to the front. In Louisville usually you get one person, but there they are mainly volunteers so you get handed from one person to another until you get to your destination. Once we were in the elevator heading out the guy asked us where we parked? We advised him we took Uber and would catch it in the front. We went to a restaurant that was a former church made in to a pasta place. The bar was actually where the preacher would have stood. Anyway when we were leaving a guy grabbed my hand and helped me down the stairs being over protecting making sure I wouldn’t fall. He then goes where did you guys park? In my head I’m thinking seriously you registered I was blind, but now you’re going to help me to my car to drive Abby home? No wonder are streets are so scary. We left dinner with a few hours to wait for the return bus to Louisville and we learned they lock the station so we went over to a Burger King. I called a Lyft to go to the bus station when time and the driver showed up but we couldn’t find him so I called him. I advised I and my girlfriend are blind and we couldn’t see him. He said what? I repeated I’m blind and can’t see him. You’re BLIND? He yelled it or had a weird sounding voice. I said yes sir he was really cool actually once we were in the car. It turns out the Burger king was about 500 feet from the bus station so I tipped him nicely for his troubles. Lexington was fun just watch out they think blind people can drive which when you think about it is I guess cool we can do anything else I guess.
Robin has had a rough year. I took her to the vet last weekend and she either has Irritable bowel disease or cancer of the intestine. If she has the cancer she has a year roughly to live. If it is the IBD then not so serious, but it is still so hard to watch her age. She has lost 16 pounds since last November which scares me. Now that it is getting colder I will wake up in the night and she will jump up on my bed and cuddle against my legs. I cherish every moment like this. One morning I had a hard time getting up and she raised her head up and gave me a lick on the cheek that got me moving it was like she was saying hey daddy stop being lazy. I have her on a new food that she is eating every ounce of so I’m hoping it will put some weight back on her. When I touch her back and go towards her tail it just makes me so sad to see how much she has thinned out. We still play but only certain times. She likes to get on my couch when I’m in the chair and she is 10 so I’m okay with that. We’ve been through so many battles together. Trying to get gigs on radio and TV going from city to city in the last year or so we’ve really settled down. I know she can’t travel and do the things we once did and I’m excepting that for her. We don’t do a lot of street crossing right now because my work isn’t in a walking friendly area so it works out that she still comes with me If that changes I will retire her. She has stayed home more than normal and she has begun chewing the hair off her legs the vet told me it’s a behavioral thing acting out because of changes so truthfully I know she would be right beside me if she could be. I’ll never forget we were crossing an alley when I lived downtown and she stopped and backed up suddenly, and that’s when I heard a car backing out. A second later and I would have been hit. When you are a team it is so rough and so hard to see them getting older. To some she is a dog, but for me it’s more than that we have this bond that I’ve never shared with anything else. Robin you’re the best and thanks for your years of work, and also thank you to the Seeing-Eye for matching us.
Next year on the docket is Abby would like to go to Chicago to see the World Series champs!!! Yes I can say that the Chicago Cubs!!!! I cannot believe they did it. It was a really emotional night my grandpa Hoyer got me in to the Cubs, and listening all those years baseball is unlike any other sport. I’m hoping to take Abby to Wrigley. This year we went to a lot of Bats games they were fun except one which the radio was on a delay so people are cheering and were 2 pitches behind. Thankfully they fixed it for the final game. I miss baseball already. Were also going to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill here in Louisville. Finally so far we have tickets to see Aaron Lewis in Feb which I am so excited for. I will try to write more things are just really busy.

Matt painter, high school and college thoughts pretty random

When I was probably four years old we went to a Purdue game where I got to go on the floor meet Jean Katie and the whole team. I remember this pretty vividly, because as I’ve commented before in my underwear basketball league I would always be Purdue and take them to the tournament. You really should’ve seen my game. Before my mom crush my dreams telling me no blind people can play in the NBA. It’s really her fault I have low self-esteem, a bit fat, and have a difficult time playing basketball today. i’m just kidding I love my mom there will be no Marshall Mathers album here. Anyway we got to the Arena around the same time Coach Katie did. I remember being on the court sitting on Craig Riley’s knee and we were just talking basketball he was my favorite. He spent probably about five minutes with me and then asked would you like to meet Matt painter? I don’t exactly know why I said the following I think he missed a shot last game that upset me. I said no he stinks, and of course being blind I didn’t realize he was right there. I may have said sucks I don’t really recall but it was one of those two words. my parents told me his face turned bright red and I’ll Riley could do was laugh. I do remember saying sorry and he gave me his autograph and I sat on his knee as well.

After the game I got to meet Coach Katie before he left and I told him I thought Bobby Knight sucked and he was the best coach in Indiana. I still stand by that. Since I’ve left Indiana I do like to see them do okay now but for a long time I really despise them. Truthfully I just love the game of basketball college that is nothing beats the competitive back-and-forth tournament game. I still remember the guy that rub me the wrong way that day was Woody Austin. I was right in front of him and rather than sign my dumb little sheet he said he had a party to get to funny the things you remember from being a kid. I went to Purdue one more game I think it watched Glenn Robinson he was another one of my favorites. I did see Riley in Fort Wayne a few years later and he remembered which I thought was cool. I’m never got to see Coach painter but if I did I would tell him I think he’s doing a great job and he learned from one of the best Bruce Webber. I would probably throwing a joke and tell him he’s a better coach than basketball player just to remember the old times but I do have a lot of respect for him. He could’ve just ignored me but instead I remember him being nice after I realized he was there.

That definitely is one thing about being blind you always have to be careful what you say because you never know who is around. That burnt me a few times. And middle school my friend Lance created this game where he would say a codeword to let me know when teachers were around if I was talking inappropriately. I am actually surprised we didn’t get into more trouble as kids. I think the blind think probably helped a few times. I had a cane that had a skinny tip on it so Lance I believe got the idea to put it in a pencil sharpener so basically the end of my cane was sharp like an arrow. and had an elastic string so we would pull it back and shoot it at the ceiling making marks in our school I wonder if they’re still there. We would also sometime shoot it across the room that thing was pretty dangerous. I was sad when I left it in a Burger King bathroom on a field trip never did get it back.

My friends always encourage me to try new things. My friend Lauren let me drive his car that was probably my first time driving. I think I was 15 and I drove it down town and my hometown. My friend Sean had a Mustang and I forget exactly why we did this but we went offroading through a field. Then of course my friend Brandon always try to get me to mow the yard for him they never let me do it fully though I think I would’ve been a great person to cut the yard of course I would have missed spots. Sometimes I get these notions to write a book and then sometimes I think my life isn’t that entertaining so it’s always a back-and-forth battle but one thing I remember admiring about my childhood versus now is the way I’ve grown with independence. When you live in the country as a blind person unless you can teleport you have to rely on someone to get you places and I was not very independent as a teenager to be honest. I was also not very good at science so teleportation was out. I remember going to Ball State with my mobility instructor it was big to me, because I had all these buildings and space but by the second day of being there or third day I made a lot of friends got lost A lot but somehow found my way I’ll never forget those days. in high school for your first year it kind of feels different because we had an upstairs I guess. It was one building though so it was completely different from college. I remember being at orientation at Ball State and I thought to myself while walking around holding onto someone’s elbow because I didn’t know my way that can I really make it here can I do this? It just all felt so big, but I did. I never share those feelings with anyone no one really cared that’s not me being cynical just truth lol.

I still feel that way like when I flew into Atlanta I sometimes get nervous about traveling somewhere new because everything is foreign. I commented last post about not wanting to walk around a lot that probably has to do with my mugging things of change for me since Ben I’m not as adventurous. I can explain to you the rush I feel when I get to the airport and we board to take off and then we get to the new place and just everything else is in the air. I’ll just put my idea here so if it gets taken I’ll sue you really I will. I always thought the greatest thing would be to have a television show where it shows blind people navigating because I think it’s fascinating. People often think I feel sorry for myself I believe or that I hate being blind. I don’t feel either one of those things I just find it fascinating that blind people fight audio signals or deny help because they want to look as independent as possible. People who can see have all the signals it’s not like they just have a greenlight they have a sign that says walk I’m surprised you don’t have someone usher you across the street by now. People complain about having to sit and 15 minutes of traffic meanwhile when we go to the grocery store it could take us up to three hours and still not get everything we need. Do you want to know my biggest annoyance? I don’t think I’ve ever talked openly about it so here it is. it’s when people offer things and don’t mean it. For example I will be somewhere and someone will say oh you could call me for a ride anytime. I’ve never relied on people that say these things because if you ask them there’s always some kind of excuse. I would rather you not even mention that if you don’t mean it. It’s not really that big of request. I don’t think me saying this probably translates properly I think it’s just you have to be blind to understand that. This blog is been interesting I’ve had people wonder why I remain or try to be independent if that’s the right thing to do all the time my notion is does it really matter? At the end of the day if I have a job if I own a house if I make all my payments or if I’m a good person or not a good person it doesn’t really matter because I’m blind. again that’s not anything about Pity it’s just being 100% honest. I struggle at times in my life because people who mean a lot to me say things that I don’t know how to interpret all the time. And college a few people would want to take me to bars because it would look good to women or maybe it might boost something going on in them. traveling around even today when I go to Atlanta or walk down main street here it’s amazing how many people don’t understand a service animal even more amazing how many people know very little about blindness. And college my friend Bryant told me something that I’ve kept with me. He call me sweetness but we’re having a conversation about how blind people or myself did something and he said that I was the first blind person he’s ever met I imagine that to be the case in most situations. I know I stand out which is nice and you can use that to your advantage definitely in certain situations but often times it’s a hindrance because people will exploit you but people also can be nice. I’ve really grown up and an interesting time where we sit with things becoming more and more speech friendly and more and more accessible. for example when I started college all of the ATM machines were pretty much unusable, but now Chase fifth third and other banks have fully functioning accessible ATM machines. Which meant or means I remember a time where either I had to remember all of the prompts to get cash out of an ATM machine or I had to trust somebody to read the screen and give me the correct amount of money which takes a lot of trust. Of course when you’re drunk and you wake up the next morning with weed in your pocket and you don’t remember how you bought it I apparently trust a lot of people. Haha. In 2004 I remember meeting a blind person who told me they just voted for the first time independently with a talking machine it’s just amazing. Tonight another dream of mine might be coming true by December 2016 I samite because I still don’t know what happens if they fail to comply the FCC didn’t tell me. however the top 10 cable companies or television providers I should say are going to be required to have a talking set box it’s about time. And smaller markets it’s December 2018. I literally went all over the place in this post. that’s why I’m great if you like sports you get a little bit of that, alcohol deathly talk on that, real-world problems I give you that it’s all here.

Cancer and since when the hell did winter become a battle?

Earlier this week I wrote a blog about what I’d be doing this weekend, or maybe I post that on Facebook hell I don’t remember. Maybe I should start that over. i’ve been wanting to get into production on the radio side of things for a while I just love radio in general. A contact I made in Milwaukee about three years ago named Carl and I have been exchanging emails on how to become or where to start with production. He offered me an opportunity to come to Green Bay, and partake and doing production for the game tonight. I’m just not ready to go back to Green Bay yet someday I will but not this season. On Thursday I woke up at three pretty nervous, so I called Opie at that time of the morning I usually have two options for friends to call either Denny or Opie. I told him I was feeling some anxiety about going to Green Bay and how I just wasn’t ready even though it was a great opportunity. He said to me don’t worry about it if it stresses you out don’t do it. He said at this point anything I do with radio is secondary until it becomes my primary just stay happy.

My second option was I was going to take a road trip which I decided against, because I didn’t know the person all that well. So that left me with what am I going to do with my weekend? On Friday I was flipping through the radio when I landed on the Bobby V show. Bob wasn’t there, but I heard about a story that instantly made me realize what I needed to do. Bellarmine was got the approval to start Patrick McSweeney. If you’re not local and Louisville you may not of seen the story. Patrick has battled cancer since five years old, and coach Davenport, met him at a basketball camp. his dream was to play college basketball and today that dream came true for him. i’ve been to a lot of sporting events, and in my lifetime have seen some amazing things but today is exhibition game for me was maybe one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen in my life. In life we often focus on the negative but when people like coach Davenport and Coach Pitino work together to make a kids dream come through by having to clear it with the NCAA is pretty remarkable.

In December I went to the Kentucky Louisville game and Lexington with a guy named Kevin who is battling cancer. Myself had cancer and is the reason I’m blind Kevin is in a wheelchair. Kevin is a big Kentucky fan, so I called him on Friday and asked if you would like to come up and go to a real arena? I have to get my digs in early because that team in Lexington looks to be special. He said he would look at trying to find a ride, and was able to. The only memory I have from today’s game other than conversations with Kevin is from Patrick and Chris Jones scoring 10 points right away. The moment both made me smile and brought a tear to my eye at the same time.

Kevin and I talked about some of his recent treatments as well as my own. Regarding my eyes I don’t really remember the operation because I was a baby. I do remember going to Riley Children’s Hospital would seem like a lot when I was a child. I hated the damn car ride it seem like my house to Indianapolis took forever. I hated going, because some person was going to mess with my eyes meaning take them out and I hated the way people would forcefully do that. when I got older I didn’t mind it because I could do it myself, but when I was a kid I hated people messing with them. My doctor used to have to tell me stories about Thurman Thomas while taking them out to distract me or someone would sit on me. After eight years I was out of remission which meant I only had to go to Riley once every year until I was 18. as I got older the trip Scott shorter which was nice. Another memory I have from the hospital was they would stick me in a x-ray machine for like an hour at a time. I hated it because I was separated from my family. I remember I would cry by myself and the x-ray machine, and some nurse would try and tell me funny nursery rhymes.

The worst memory I have of all of my childhood would be this one. someone in my family thought it would be a great idea or maybe it was the blind school that I should go down and attend the blind school for some sort of preschool. my mom took me down on a Saturday and I think I was again somewhere around four or five. she left me and stay with a relative. It’s really embarrassing to talk about this now but I hated being with strangers and not having my mom. I remember them trying to tell me things would be okay but I knew it just wasn’t normal. Thank God they took me home and I never really had to go back. I hated that place. I did go back to a camp later my childhood, and it was okay I hated it when I was a young kid.

When I was going through my cancer I was only the 75th case at Riley Children’s Hospital that they had seen. My mom tells me that the doctors really wanted to just perform experiments on me that they didn’t feel they could save me. One dr. decided that he thought he could do an operation where he would have to remove one of my eyes. They realize though unfortunately the cancer had grown too much and was in both eyes so they had to remove everything optic nerve and all. They then put in an artificial muscle that is red it controls the movement of my fake eyes today. The same muscles have been in since I was born I hear they can go bad and that’s a painful operation I’m keeping my fingers crossed they stay healthy. Talking to Kevin today it’s funny you can be cancer but it’s a hell of a fight and it usually take something from you. This life has been crazy especially this year. In the past month I’ve question a lot of things, like why do things happen a certain way? I don’t really have any answers so sorry if you were hoping for one. Going back through my bouts with depression and there have been a lot from not being able to drive to just the way people can treat you. if you read this blog it regularly you’ll see I still struggle with taking my dog places or getting a ride things that into thousand 14 blind people shouldn’t struggle with. The unemployment rate is alarming and it’s just brushed aside and every organization or people are tired of hearing about it. Even myself have created stereotypes of what blind people can or can’t do but the truth of the matter is that it is up to the individual. What is great about people is we’re not robots we are not programmed to just deal with one type of situation. And times of tragedy we come together and moments of weakness we find strength and above all we persevere.

A lot of times people fear or feel sorry for people with disabilities. It often seems to me that I spend most of my time wondering why people can’t just see me as normal. It was nice today talking about this with Kevin because he himself to said since being in a wheelchair people talk to him as he were a child and it’s hard for him to find that normalcy. Most of the time when we talk it’s about basketball or how he is feeling or what treatment he’ll have to do next but the thing I admire most is how we have that connection even though it’s different it’s the same cancer changed us. thank you to Louisville and Bellarmine for allowing such a moment for Patrick McSweeney and for allowing his dreams to come true and may be showing some others dreams are still possible.

I saw this headline Fischer to announce snow and ice ‘battle plan’, 10:16 PM. Isn’t the plan the same since I don’t know 2004? People act as if snow and ice never happen. why is this a headline? it really should just be Fisher says salt and trucks are ready for first snow, but I digress.

Sports are getting out-of-control

If you haven’t heard anything about the Daniel Murphy situation check below for a link. To summarize the issue New York sports radio is bashing Murphy a second baseman for the New York Mets, because he took maternity leave to be with his wife. Now I’ve never had a child, but if I did or when I do you better believe no matter my profession I’d be by her side. Carton and Boomer are completely in the wrong on this issue there are more important things besides baseball. They bring up things like his job will put the kid through school, but that isn’t Daniel Murphy’s fault rather Americas fault for allowing sports contracts to be so huge. Here is my question when did sports get so far out of control? I watch for the entertainment factor. I’ve never gotten so worked up about something that I set anything on fire or looted the streets. Daniel Murphy made a moral decision to be with his wife in life’s greatest moment bringing another life in to the world and everything else is irrelevant. These same idiots would be the same people to jump up and say the problem with American families is that they’re not families anymore. Last year Murphy played in 160 out of 162 games for a losing ball club with no immediate future of being good. I support his decision, and hope and pray sports shows will someday actually be entertaining, and talk about things that actually matter.

My other complaint is why aren’t women’s sports viewed on the same level as men’s? I’ve watched women’s college basketball for the past 5 or 6 years, and I love the quality of the product. The crazy thing is I spoke to Tameka Catchings, and she only makes around $40000 per year. She said she plays overseas, and makes a bit more money than that. You take her male counterpart, and they’re making millions. I know people will comment about it’s all about revenue, but something doesn’t seem quite right with me about that. Skylar has been a huge ambassador for the game, and when I got an opportunity to hang with her in New Orleans last year that was pretty cool. Being in Louisville I’ve gotten to see a lot of Shoni Schimmel’s career as well, and she is amazing. I know I’m in the minority on this, but I feel the women get completely disrespected and I’m tired of the double speak we have when it comes to equality. They’re playing the same sport using the same athletic abilities, but yet the pay isn’t even in the same universe.boomer and Carton

Louisville and Kentucky thoughts Blind photography and Saturday!

Sorry for not having a post for today and tomorrow, but on Saturday I will be taking lots of pictures at slugger field. Tomorrow like the entire state of Kentucky I will be concentrating a lot on the Louisville Kentucky game. If the Cardinals win they will win the NCAA championship both teams have improved since the last time they played Kentucky wins size, but I think Louisville has more heart. At the end of the season Louisville finally played like I thought they would the entire season. Go cards!