Sunday, December 2, 2007

Texas A&M Sports and Catholicism

As most of you know, Roxy's husband is obsessed with Texas A&M Sports. Just ask Roxy about her husband's outbursts of joy during the annual A&M v. texas football game. By the way, A&M won for the second year in a row.

The victory, unfortunately, was overshadowed by news of Coach Fran resigning during the post-game press conference. During the next couple of days, I would check the rumor sites every hour to find the latest speculation on who the next coach would be. The rumor of the day would tout a legendary coach or hot up and comer like Steve Spurrier, Tommy Tubberville, Jeff Tedford, Chris Petersen, Brian Kelly, etc. It seemed Aggies on the web message boards were excited about everyone of these names. They wondered in long rambling posts how one of these coaches would bring glory to the A&M football program.

While these names brought excitement, there was one name that brought almost universal criticism: Mike Sherman. There were hundreds of posters whose one request was anyone but Sherman. You see, Mike Sherman was a former Aggie assistant who spent the last ten years or so coaching in the NFL, including several years as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers. He was thought of as part of the old Aggie guard, a guy with no personality, and not the guy who would take A&M to the next level.

As fate would have it, Sherman was announced as the Aggie coach three short days later. The eternally pessimistic Ags blasted the hire, saying it was orchestrated by big money Ags. While the eternally optimistic Ags (like me) tried to find reasons to be excited about Mr. Sherman.

Well I didn't have to try very hard. Within a few days after his hiring, I started reading bits and pieces on Sherman that shed light on who this man is. I read how all of his former players heaped praise on him as a man and as a teacher. I read how upon being fired as the head coach of the Packers, the entire team gave him a five minute standing ovation. I learned that he only desired to be a head coach of two teams: the Green Bay Packers, and the Texas A&M Aggies.

And today I learned how Sherman donated a big color TV to a group of nuns in Wisconsin. Yes, it turns out Sherman is Catholic. He and his wife Karen have five kids, including a daughter they adopted from a maternity home in Green Bay. Sherman's mother says that if he hadn't become a football coach, he may have become a Catholic priest. You can read more about Mr. Sherman in this excellent Dallas Morning Times article. Needless to say, that article made me extremely proud to have Mike Sherman as the head football coach of Texas A&M.

This seems like a trend in Aggie coaching. Last year, after a tremendous run in the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament, the A&M coach left for greener pastures at Kentucky. The man chosen to replace him was Mark Turgeon, and you guessed it - he's Catholic. Check out this article on Mr. Turgeon from a local paper at his previous coaching job in Wichita, Kansas. By the way, the Ags under Turgeon have started out 7 - 0 including an impressive victory over Ohio State to win the Pre Season NIT championship. Let's hope Sherman has similar success next year.

Roxy, please take into consideration that when I support Aggie athletics, I'm supporting Catholic Coaches.


Devin Rose said...

I just went and read that news article about Mike Sherman: He sounds like a true man of God; whether A&M wins or loses, the players he coaches will be blessed by him I am sure.

Roxanna said...

That's my husband! He spent an hour and a half writing that post! Can you believe that?
He is Mr. Perfect!

Enrique said...

Gerardo, gracias por tu informacion y que asombroso que un coach sea un hombre de fe y catolico mejor ya que tanto se necesita en todos lados...estoy seguro que Dios lo guiara para tener un buen equipo y una mejor temporada. Gig'em

Gert said...

Talk about providence. I was looking for a photo of Texas A&M sports to photoshop into a picture so I googled Texas A&M sports. As it happens, the one attached to your blog comes up. Funny thing is that you're an Aggie Catholic. My son's Tony '10, Chris '06, and Nick '02, and daughter's Emily '13 and Kaela '16 are all Aggie Catholic's as well. Love your story. May God continue to keep blessing you.

Gerard Neumann - Aggie Dad from El Paso