Front page from 20 years ago

Twenty year’s ago I was in Houston to cover Nguyen’s acceptance of the Lombardi Award, bottom. Time flies.

If you’ve got an email account then you probably sign up for a few things that are sent automatically, usually on a daily basis. Many folks receive daily devotions, cooking tips, or information about a particular hobby.

I don’t know how I started getting WebMD emails every day - probably signed up for them - but they can be interesting.

I received one this week titled, “These are the worst thinks for your heart.” That topic caught my attention because my father has had a couple of heart attacks and owns stock in stents, and my older brother has faced a few heart issues, as well.

At about the year mark after Hurricane Harvey I started having a lot of shortness of breath. To make a long story short, I made a trip to Code3ER one night, and was told to visit a cardiologist. Dr. Haun set me up for a date with Dr. Silverman in Corpus Christi. In case you’re wondering … I paid!

A short time later I was in Corpus Christi for a heart catheterization.

When I woke up after the procedure, my wife said, “Dr. Silverman doesn’t know what’s causing your shortness of breath, but it isn’t your heart or your arteries/veins.”

Based on my dad’s and my brother’s histories, I was immediately relieved to hear that news.

Then I went ahead and diagnosed myself.

“Mike,” I said to myself. “You’ve been putting in a lot of hours, just lived through a Cat 4 hurricane and dealing with its aftermath, and (this is the big one) you’re out of shape.”

Now, back to the WebMD email about things that are bad for your heart.

I’m just going to list the bad things, and try not to cry. Most of you will totally understand how I feel about this list after you read it.

• Bacon – This is simply sacrilegious. God made pigs, pigs are bacon, and I eat bacon because it’s awesome, and my God says, “Be awesome.”

• Red meat – The minute any doctor tells me I can only eat fish and chicken breasts is the day I start seriously getting all my affairs in order.

• Soda – This one is no biggie. I haven’t had a soda in years.

• Baked goods – I’m 59 and don’t want to celebrate any more birthdays so I can skip cake - unless, of course, it’s a grandchild’s birthday, then I’m required to eat at least one piece. To clarify the first part of my statement, I do want to get older; I just no longer need to celebrate my birthday with a cake … although a red velvet cake sounds pretty good … anytime!

• Processed meats – I haven’t had a good salami sandwich in a long time, so I think I’m good.

• White rice, bread, and pasta – Good luck with that one. I’m married to an Italian.

• Pizza – Come on man, you’re killing me. I can’t do without my Panjo’s fix. Also, did I mention my wife is Italian?

• Alcohol – Not a problem. I don’t drink.

• Butter – Seriously?

• Flavored, full-fat yogurt – No problem here. I don’t like yogurt. I go for the real stuff … Blue Bell!

• French fries – The article makes them sound so bad referring to them as evil “deep-fried potatoes.” What would Idaho be without us consuming a few fried spuds?

• Fried chicken – Sorry, but I’ve got to have some good fried chicken every once in a while (dark meat only please). I don’t mind it barbecued, with the sauce somewhat burnt, but keep the baked stuff away from me.

• Canned soup – Wait till I tell my mother WebMD said she was trying to kill me when I was a kid.

• Ranch dressing – What? There are other types of salad dressing?

• Ice Cream – I will be dead or otherwise out of it before I stop eating my daily scoop of Blue Bell Dutch Chocolate.

• Potato chips – So thankful they didn’t mention shoestring potatoes, pork rinds, of peanut butter crackers!

Wow, now that I wrote this all down and read what I wrote … I’m feeling a little sluggish. I had better get up and run around the block.

When I get back, since I will have built up some health credits, I might justify sitting down and enjoying a quick bacon sandwich, make some homemade pasta for the evening meal, and eat a scoop of Blue Bell before bed.

Let’s see … yep … Code3ER and Doctor Silverman’s numbers are on speed dial.

Talking about

being in shape

I, along with many other folks, had the chance to visit with former Rockport-Fulton High School, Texas A&M, and Dallas Cowboy gridiron star Dat Nguyen this past Saturday. He’s not quite as big as he was in his playing days, but I wouldn’t want to tangle him.

He obviously isn’t worried about the WebMD list I just wrote about.

He gave a brief inspirational message at the Leadership Aransas County Class XXII fundraiser “For the Love of the Outdoors” Saturday afternoon, and hung around to sign autographs.

It’s hard to believe it’s been a little more than 20 years since I made my way up to Houston to cover his receiving the Lombardi Award.

Watching his two boys run around on the blocked off runway where the event was held, made me wonder, “Will they grow up to be football players, and followers of Christ, as well?”

I don’t know about their football future, but I’d bet, based on the path their father and mother have followed in their lives, the boys (and their sisters) will be followers of Christ.

Until next week, have a good week.

Mike Probst can be reached at

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