Thoughts of a Life Long Falcon Fan

My son Nathan. He actually thought this uniform would let him make the team.

My son Nathan. He actually thought this uniform would let him make the team.

Thoughts of a Life Long Falcon Fan

By Chris Skates

As I write this, I don’t yet know the outcome. The game is still two hours away. Fifty-one years. Fifty-one years, many of them horrid, we Falcons fans have waited for this. For me personally it has been forty-one. Having grown up in Georgia, I watched my first Falcons game with my grandpa in 1976. I was already 13 but due to some instability in my home life, I knew nothing about football. On that day, grandpa was patient with me. He explained the rules of the game and it remains a precious memory of time spent with him talking about something that was just for fun. The Falcons lost to the L.A. Rams that day. I believe the score was 56 to 3. Still, I was hooked. I have rarely missed a game either in person or on TV since.

The team and the league broke my heart earlier this year, and for the first time in my life I tuned them out. My reasons are stated here. I remain angry and disappointed by their decisions but as this year’s team looked better and better, my history as a fan got the better of me. I began to tune in again by game twelve. One would think that at fifty-three years old I would no better than to make such dogmatic proclamations.

That history went beyond games with my grandpa. Growing up I moved and changed schools often, sometimes in the middle of the school year. One survival skill I learned was to look for a boy or two with a Falcons trapper or maybe a sticker on his lunchbox. I could talk to him. Maybe we would become friends for the few months I would be in that place. It was an icebreaker that served me well.

Two weeks ago I went so far as to travel back to Atlanta. I took my son to the NFC Championship game against the Packers. We had attended other games through the years, the majority of them bitter losses. This time was different. It was different for the entire stadium than any sporting event I have attended. Though it was unexpected, the Falcons were comfortably ahead by the third quarter. The entire stadium was joined in a massive celebration from that point until the trophy presentation. It was as if the fifty-one years of frustration were being released by everyone present all at once. We had a blast.

After the game the celebrating continued into the Marta tunnels and onto the trains. My son and I high fived and even hugged, total strangers. All that was needed was to be wearing the colors. Even as I enjoyed the moment, I couldn’t help but think, “Why am I not like this at church?”

Sports allow us to hide our differences, at least for short periods of time. The Falcons theme for the season has been “brothership” (a word they made up but you get the point) or more recently, “brotherhood”. But sports are only a brotherhood that runs jersey or tee-shirt deep. There can be a brotherhood in Christ that goes all the way to our core. Would that I get as excited about that eternal brotherhood on a regular basis as I did about the Falcons game that day.

In the meantime, I wonder what my grandpa would think of this Falcon’s record setting offense. I wonder if those schoolyard buddies I once knew are watching today too. I hope the Falcons pull it off. I hope the city of Atlanta gets that elusive championship. Go Falcons. Rise Up!

 

Thoughts on the Trump Inauguration

With Michelle Fields at CPAC 2014

With Michelle Fields at CPAC 2014

I didn’t support Donald Trump during the Republican Primary. I was a Ted Cruz guy. But once Trump won the nomination, I admitted publicly that I would vote for him and that he was infinitely superior to Hillary Clinton or Bernie (Karl Marx) Sanders. (And yes that is me with Michelle Fields who was man handled by an ex Trump Campaign Manager. Just threw that in for giggles. But it reminds me that firing him and bringing in Kellyanne Conway was the best move Trump ever made.) However, since Trump’s transition team began their work, I must say I have been quite impressed. Many of Trump’s Cabinet picks have been nothing short of stellar. Scott Pruitt as director of USEPA is an absolute DREAM pick. As recently as two months ago I never would have imagined that such a pick were possible. In fact, I was honored to be one of 130 scientific experts to sign a letter supporting the Attorney General’s nomination. That letter was read at his confirmation hearing this week by the Senate Committee Chairman.

Overall, I am very encouraged and, when coupled with what’s going on in Kentucky, very optimistic for the future. That is a 180 degree turnaround from where I was as recently as 6 months ago.

That being said, I have to say a word about the protesters. It is amazing to me how many times these people call people like me and those who support President-Elect Trump, NAZIS. In point of fact. The protesters are the ones who share similarities with NAZIS (or if you will recall the National…Aryan…SOCIALISTS). The mindset of socialists hasn’t changed since that time. As I have told you repeatedly on this blog, the Democratic party leadership has been taken over by socialists. These protesters who are going so far to try to destroy the Presidency, are nothing more than anarchists. It is one thing to disagree with the incoming President as I did with Obama. It is another to set fires and wear goggles and gas masks and threaten assassination.

This is a critical time in our nations history. These protesters don’t just want to express their disagreement with Mr. Trump. They don’t want a tangentially different direction. Many of these protestors want to tear down free market capitalism and replace it with a socialist or Marxist (Bernie Sanders is a classic Marxist) model. That is a model that will fail miserably as it has over and over when tried. The one’s who will be hurt the most in that type of system will be the poor, the very people that the protesters claim to care about. They will not just go away after the inauguration. They will have to be defeated in the arena of ideas.

My Blog Comes Back To Life

Hello….hello….is anybody still out there? I wouldn’t blame you if you weren’t. In the course of a career change, selling our home of 23 years in Paducah, leaving our beloved church, and moving to Frankfort, I just decided to not try to blog. But I want to start back. So MUCH has happened. For those of you that don’t know, I was honored to accept the position of Communications Adviser to Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin. I work at the State Capitol now in Frankfort. My new job has been full of new challenges and exciting experiences and opportunities. Best of all for this writer, I am writing a ton of very diverse things. Here are a few photos.

At the Governor's Mansion open house

At the Governor’s Mansion open house

The family with the Governor and First Lady and an elf

The family with the Governor and First Lady and an elf

The move to Frankfort has been a bit traumatic for us. Still walking around boxes but we are making unpacking progress daily. Our Golden Retriever Chipper misses his yard and his doggie playmates down the street but he get taken on more walks than ever. Some days I do feel sorry for him. He sits in front of our sliding glass door at the apartment (its a second floor deck) and holds his ball in his mouth and just lets out these big, sad, sighs. But…he will adjust.

I’m working on some exciting projects in the job and am part of a first-class team. I think you are going to see some amazing and positive changes in Kentucky. Kentucky is ranked 34th by Forbes as a good state for business and jobs. I am confident that that is going to improve greatly in the coming months and years.

In terms of my novel, no good news from my agent (who I just signed with in August) yet, but as the publishing business is now, four months really isn’t a long time. In social situations I often tell people about my manuscript “Moonshine Over Georgia” and the actual events it is based on. Every time I do, people are drawn in and fascinated by the story. This just has to become a novel and movie someday.

Anyway, that’s all for now. I hope to have something posted for Christmas. Just wanted to get reacquainted for now.  Merry Christmas!

Lots of Excitement Lately

Wow! Am I ever behind on blogging. I am barely able to squeeze out one column a week right now, much less blog. I am not complaining, it is just that lots of stuff started happening all at once. All of it is exciting and good. One thing that I haven’t blogged about enough was my daughter married a wonderful young man. IMG_0955 After that, something exciting and scary came up that involves a writing opportunity but I can’t make that one public yet, but its a big deal for me and its very time consuming so prayers appreciated. More to come on that when I can.

Also, in there, Tracy and I went to the Ark Encounter. I wanted to do a stand alone blog on this trip but instead just ended up doing a bunch of facebook posts. Suffice it to say that it was very moving for me to visit and to physically see the ark. I highly recommend you plan a trip when you can.

Next, I traveled to Denver to attend the Red State Gathering. I met with lots of conservative politicians, delegates to the Republican Convention and just concerned citizens. I write about that trip here.

Katie Pavlich, Chief Editor at Townhall.com where I contribute holding a wallaby

Katie Pavlich, Chief Editor at Townhall.com where I contribute holding a wallaby

This is Katie Pavlich, Fox News Contributor and Editor at Townhall media cuddling a Wallaby. Yes, of course there was a Wallaby at the gathering. Why wouldn’t there be?

Senator Ben Sasse gave an excellent lecture on the Constitution

Senator Ben Sasse gave an excellent lecture on the Constitution

The hotel was a gorgeous setting for a conference. This was my view out the window as I waited for Senator Sasse to begin.

Rockies

Rockies

But perhaps the most inspirational speaker for me was Peggy Grande. She has a new book out about her years as personal assistant to President Reagan. Her talk was extremely interesting. She was so close to history being made. Buy her book. The photo’s she captured alone are worth it. But I couldn’t help but think how fascinating it would be to live that life, to see Margaret Thatcher and Reagan sit down and talk. IMG_0950Finally, the highlight for me was the Killer Nashville conference. It is so named because this conference focuses on Thrillers and crime fiction. There were 500 authors there. We were told at Orientation that we would be fortunate to get a single agent to ask to read our manuscript. There were no “Pitch Sessions” per say. Instead this conference used an author round table format that I liked very much. Ten authors got to meet for about 40 minutes with two agents. You got to request the agents you wanted and I was fortunate to get my first and second choices. You got to read your first two pages of your manuscript (and only two pages). The agents see so many writers work, they can make an assessment from those two pages. But you read in front of the whole group so it was a little nerve wracking. You had the option to use a reader that was in the room but since my story is in the voice of my grandpa, I chose to read it. I was so gratified that both agents were VERY complimentary of my writing and my story. Both asked to see the manuscript!! That was the best outcome I could have hoped for. I sent the manuscript via email as soon as I got home and yesterday my #1 most coveted agent Mark Gottlieb of Trident Media Group called me and we agreed he would become my new agent!! I notified the other agent today via email so that she wouldn’t use up her valuable time assessing my manuscript. I think this is a turning point for me as a novelist. Mark was the agent on a book that I often compare mine to. The book was originally titled “Wettest County in the World” but the title was changed to “Lawless” after the book became a major motion picture. I am VERY excited to be working with Mr. Gottlieb. I can tell he “gets” my story.

This only means that now I have a representative to call on publishers on my behalf. So it still may be some time before I get a publishing contract. I hope it happens within weeks but these things usually take longer than that.

In any case, it has been a whirlwind three weeks and I can’t wait to see what happens next. I’ll still be writing columns and I love doing that too.

 

 

 

New Look to Blog

I changed the photos and background of my blog. I also rewrote the “About Me” page. I want to emphasize my fiction writing more here at the blog. I don’t want this site to only be a repository for my columns. I want it to be more about entertainment and story telling. Let me know what you think. I am doing some test posting to Facebook and Twitter today so don’t be annoyed if you see several posts in a row that may not say that much. IMG_1256