TOP OF THE TOWN – The volleyball team from Washington may have to change their mascot from Husky to Montlake Miracles after its performance in the NCAA Tournament being held in Omaha. The Huskies have rallied three times in their last three matches to reach the Final Four that will be held Thursday. After a first round bye, the sixth-ranked Dawgs needed five sets to beat Dayton, losing the third and fourth sets. They then trailed Louisville 2-1, won the fourth set and were down by six points in the deciding fifth set before rallying to win on Sunday. It became even more difficult in the Elite Eight on Monday because unseeded Pittsburgh took a 2-0 lead before the Montlake Miracles did their thing, rallying from behind. They won the third set 25-16 and had to scrap hard to nip Pittsburgh 26-24 in the fourth set and, finally, cruised in the deciding set 15-9 to set up a semifinal match between the winner of second-seeded Kentucky and seventh-seeded Purdue on Thursday. You couldn’t write a more thrilling script for Washington. It indeed has been a slew of minor miracles for the Dawgs so far. … If we didn’t already know why Aldon Smith was out of pro football for three years, derailing a remarkable career on defense, you know now. Smith, a San Francisco first-round draft pick in 2011 earned All-Pro in 2012 when he had 19.5 sacks. Then trouble stalked Smith and his career was knocked off the rails for three years from 2016-19 because of legal and substance abuse problems. He got back in pro football last year with Dallas and was signed last Thursday by the Seahawks. Two days later, trouble caught up with Smith once again, this time in Louisiana where he was charged with second-degree battery when he allegedly choked somebody unconscious. I don’t get it. How many times over the years have we seen a talented athlete swimming in good fortune and a nest full of money with the potential to earn even more wind up being charged with some crime? Too many to count, I know. I put myself in those shoes and can’t find myself doing something to crush not just my dreams, but my economic good fortunate. I just can’t. Well, maybe I can. I do remember thinking many years ago that if I had been thrown a huge bunch of money to play a game when I was still a teenager I probably would have been dead in short order. I would have been too immature to handle it and likely would have done something stupid to kill myself. I didn’t have a bad background. My dad was a great guy and I miss him still now, 31 years after his death. But I had the misfortune to be the youngest in a family of five children when my mother died. I was just 12 and a year later my dad remarried and we moved at the same time from New York to Ferndale, WA.  I immediately shut down emotionally and physically and entered my dark years. If I would have had the talent to sign a big athletic contract during that time I would not be here today. So stupid can happen to the best, not that I’m claiming to be the best. Now that I’m on the downside of life, I can yell from the top of a roof about the stupidly of young athletics that ruin their careers and the prosperity that comes from them. It just doesn’t make sense for me anymore what some of these guys do. I did think at one time that having a big house with dozens of rooms and bathrooms, a swimming pool and all the extra trimmings would be good. Not anymore. Athletes who swim in money and buy countless expensive cars and houses so big they could house a convention of insurance salesmen (I remember one athlete who had a bedroom that measured over 7,000 sq feet) are economically foolish. I like athletes like LeBron James who put their money to work helping others. I don’t like athletes who gamble away millions and brag about it (one did) and others who throw money in the air at strip clubs and brag about it (many do). I have learned over the long years of my life that first you must love yourself before you can love others. When you get to that first step it becomes easy to help others, which is a main reason we exist. My spirituality is showing here, but I believe we come to his Earth on a march to perfection. Once we reach perfection of our soul we meld back into God. It’s not easy to reach perfection. As we all know, it’s difficult here on Earth to do everything perfectly. Life chips away at you. I remember leaving a weekly meeting with my pastor just floating on air and full of love. A quarter mile down the road I would come crashing back down. All of those small life problems would invade and it was difficult to maintain all the built-up love. I try, though. I will at some near future go back to God and he will likely say, “Mosher, you need to go back and learn some more.” And maybe the next time around I will be a black man in this white world. Now that will be a huge challenge. Maybe if I’m really challenged I will be a black man playing pro football with a taste for drugs, strip clubs and poker tables. And if I can overcome all of that and continue on my march for perfection maybe God won’t be so hard on me when I again go back. That’s enough for today. Stay safe.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.