Kansas City Chiefs to the Superbowl

KC Chiefs Beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23–20

image shows the Kansas City Chiefs logo in a large arched window of a stone building
Image by Roy Harryman from Pixabay

I didn’t grow up as a “die-hard” football fan. I had some friends in high school that played football and I was in the marching band, so I began to understand the game. As I hung out with my friends, I became a fan of the Chiefs (I live not far from Kansas City).

Since Patrick Mahomes has been the quarterback for the Chiefs, I have been impressed not only by his abilities as a quarterback but his personality and upstanding character as well. After this game, the reporter was giving him praise, but he immediately deflected that by crediting Harrison Butker’s kick.

When he’s frustrated during a game, you don’t often see it, unlike players like Tom Brady (I personally think Brady is pretty whiny and tends to blame others for any mistakes). Patrick is always positive and a great leader of his team.

The Chiefs had a lot against them in this game, with Patrick Mahomes’ ankle injury during the last game, Justin Watson’s illness, Willie Gay’s shoulder injury, Mecole Hardman’s pelvis injury, L’Jarius Sneed’s concussion, JuJu Smith-Schuster’s knee injury, Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s ankle, and Travis Kelce’s back just a few days ago. These are all key players that make important plays regularly.

Mahomes and Kelce, of course, played through their ailments throughout the game and made crucial plays when they needed to. Despite playing on a hurt ankle, Patrick ran to pick up a first down with just seconds left to go in the game. With the yardage gained along with a penalty against the Bengals for “unnecessary roughness,” it put the Chiefs within field goal range. Harrison Butker was able to kick the game-winning field goal, sending the KC Chiefs to the Superbowl for the third time within the past four years.

Travis and Jason Kelce will be the first brothers to face off in a Superbowl game. Travis playing for the Chiefs and Jason for the Philidelphia Eagles. I saw a picture of their mother with a specially-made jersey of half-Chiefs, half-Eagles.

I am not a sports writer, but I wanted to take this opportunity to give credit to the KC Chiefs for their win and wish them luck in the Superbowl in two weeks.

*Originally published on Medium

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5 Life Lessons from Alice

Give Your Life Balance by Looking at an Upside-Down World

Photo by Marcus Ganahl on Unsplash

5 Life Lessons from Alice 

Tomorrow is Lewis Carroll’s birthday. I love his stories and poems and I think he had a brilliantly creative mind and imagination. His works were not only fun, humorous, and satirical, but contained true and significant life lessons. We can derive powerful benefits from reading great works of literature like his.

I don’t know if most people would place Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass in this category of great novels, but they should certainly take them into consideration. 

Alice was presented with many choices during her journey throughout Wonderland. We too are faced with choices every day in this wonderful life and many of these decisions correlate with those offered to Alice. I will point out five important life lessons that can be gleaned from analyzing some of Alice’s adventures.

“One side will make you grow taller”

(Carroll, 2005, p. 34).

1. Be Proud

In growing taller, I am not talking about steroids or hormone treatments. I’m talking about standing tall and being proud. Pride, however, should not mean being puffed up or putting yourself above others. 

There are different definitions of pride. A famous verse from the Bible says,

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

(Sproul, 2016, p. 1088)

You’ve probably also heard the saying, “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” This can be true if you have an overwhelming opinion of yourself. When you put yourself so high or allow others to put you on such a lofty pedestal and then are brought back to reality, the fall can be embarrassing and devastating. 

The definition of pride to which I am referring is “proper respect for oneself; sense of one’s own dignity or worth; self-respect” (Agnes, 1999, p. 1193).

It is a good quality to have healthy self-worth. Be happy with how you were created and don’t be afraid to show it. This kind of self-confidence not only attracts people to you but garners admiration from others. 

I am reminded here of an article I read recently by Internal Dialogue about confidence and overcompensation. People who are arrogant and boastful are overcompensating for a lack of self-assuredness.

If you are truly aware of your abilities and they are grounded in reality, why would you need to brag about them, if only to receive validation from others?

In summary, be proud, but don’t be a jerk!

“And the other side will make you grow shorter.”

(Carroll, 2005, p. 34)

2. Be Humble

No, this is not a sequel to “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.” I’m talking about humbling yourself. This may seem like a contradiction to the previous section, but it is not. Just as pride should not be taken to the point of arrogance or putting yourself above others, humility should not be taken to the point of belittling yourself.

I don’t want a misunderstanding here. I am not talking about making yourself “less than.” Humility does not mean allowing others to walk all over you; nor does it mean you cannot be proud of who you are or what you’ve accomplished. 

To me, one of the most attractive features in another person is humility. Conversely, if I see a handsome guy, but then discover that he is cocky and completely arrogant, he becomes physically unattractive to me. I see his smile as fake and condescending, I take notice of his boastful and arrogant swagger, and view his bulging muscles as overcompensation for a lacking personality. It’s a very interesting phenomenon. 

I don’t believe anyone achieves success on their own. Even the “self-made” millionaires received some assistance from others, whether it be family, customers, listeners, lenders, or partners. To be humble is to acknowledge and show appreciation for those individuals who helped you get to where you are.

“Off with her head!”

(Carroll, 2005 p. 93)

3. Don’t Offend the Queen

The Queen of Hearts makes her own rules and they may not make sense to us. It is unlikely that any of us has ever “brushed elbows” with royalty — especially not a leader who has a proclivity for beheading her subjects at the drop of a hat, so to speak. 

We do go into other people’s homes and they may have certain rules — taking off your shoes, for instance, because they have a light-colored carpet. Even if there aren’t set rules, it’s not a good idea to enter someone else’s space and intentionally do something to offend them. If I were invited for dinner to the home of someone who is vegan, I’m not going to bring a dish of roasted duck! 

On Medium or WordPress, our virtual “homes” are our blogs, so I do not go to someone’s blog and leave a disparaging remark. I don’t try to offend them with my beliefs. I may disagree with what they’ve said, but I’m the one who chose to read it. I can also choose to leave without clapping or finishing the article. I can even block them if I want.

I have had only one negative comment on my blog on Medium since I started a few months ago, and I have not deleted it. I think it is good to show that I can tolerate someone else’s opinion, even if they may have misunderstood my intentions or they just say something out of jealousy or spite.

I was following this person until the negative comment and then I unfollowed him. I don’t go out of my way to contradict any of his comments or posts; in fact, I don’t read them at all because I don’t have to. He is the king of his own castle with his loyal royal followers and I am the King of mine.

Now, if he or anyone else decides to come and be hateful and offensive, I may call for the executioner. “Off with his head!”

“Alice thought she had never seen such a curious croquet-ground in her life; it was all ridges and furrows; the balls were live hedgehogs, the mallets live flamingoes, and the soldiers had to double themselves up and to stand on their hands and feet, to make the arches.”

(Carroll, 2005, p. 60)

4. Think Outside the Box

Some of the most successful people in the world came up with new worlds and stories dreamed up from wild imaginations. George Lucas, J.K. Rowling, James Cameron, and Lewis Carroll are just a few. Could your name be added to this list? It’s possible.

“The Jabberwocky” is probably Lewis Carroll’s most famous poem. Over half (67%) of the words in that poem are not actual words; he made them up. Even so, the story depicted in the poem is easily understood.

His novels defy logic, question rational thinking, and they repeatedly ask the question “Why do things have to be as we know them?” In his world, they don’t.

You may not want to use flamingoes as croquet mallets, or hedgehogs as balls, but don’t limit yourself to what society has defined for you. Be imaginative, be creative, and try new things. Follow a rabbit down a hole and see where you end up.

“And that shows that there are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents.”

(Carroll, 2005, p. 150)

5. Celebrate Life

What is a birthday? It is an annual celebration of your life. What if we didn’t limit the celebration to only one day each year? How would that look? There are 364 other days throughout the year that you can celebrate yourself and be happy with the life you have.

Birthdays also mark the passage of time. We grow older, and to remind us that we are aging, we add another candle to our cake. Suppose you didn’t celebrate your birthday in that way. Imagine if you were to take a moment every day to reflect on what you have and be happy that you’re alive. Your actual birthday would no longer have a negative connotation to it.

I say you should focus on those other days, and have 364 merry un-birthdays. Humpty Dumpty was portrayed as being a bit “dull,” but I think he had quite a good idea. Perhaps ignorance truly is bliss.

Through the Looking Glass

We may not be able to literally step through a mirror and into another world, but we can look at Alice’s adventures and learn some valuable life lessons. Make your own rules like the Queen, keep smiling like the Cheshire Cat, be mad as a Hatter from time to time, and maybe even talk to a caterpillar and eat a mushroom every once in a while. 😉

Step through the looking glass and look at the world in a different way. Looking at an upside-down world at times may be better than reality.


Agnes, M. E. (1999). Webster’s New World College Dictionary (M. E. Agnes & D. B. Guralnik, Eds.). Wiley.

Carroll, L. (2005). Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Digireads.com Publishing.

Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2016). Reformation Study Bible-NKJV. Reformation Trust Publishing.

Copyright © 2023 Brandon Ellrich

*Originally published on Medium

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If you enjoyed this post, you may also like Are You Thankful for Failures?

Brandon’s Puzzle Poem

A Riddle in Poetic Form

Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels.com

I was honored to be picked as Poet of the Week for David’s W3 Prompt #39: Wea’ve Written Weekly. Thank you, Denise!

For this week’s challenge, I chose to write a riddle or “puzzle” poem. Mine is short and simple, but I hope you enjoy it and it gives you something to think about.

Brandon’s Puzzle Poem

A treasure without measure, at times a pleasure that seems far off
For me, people are willing to fight for, kill for, go to war for
I am physical, spiritual, mental, restricted by laws and time
I am feared by some, but to the imprisoned I am sublime
To those who have learned helplessness, I am not understood
I am taken for granted, denied, weaponized, and abused too
If you don’t know who I am, the answer is in this poem

Copyright © 2023 Brandon Ellrich

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Jealous Winter

"Jealous Winter" image shows a group of large trees in an open meadow or field, all of which is covered in ice and snow.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Winter is a most jealous season;
Ask her why, she won’t give a reason.

Her snowflakes are intricate and small,
Yet together, they cover all;

Erasing all evidence of Summer or Spring–
A blanket of white over everything.

Her sister Autumn assists her by,
Bringing the leaves to the ground to die.

“Summer has nothing,” she remarks,
“But a day of noise and fireworks.

I have Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas,
And all the gifts December gives us.”

She boasts of New Years and Valentine’s Day,
Until the snow starts melting away.

Then green grass begins poking through;
She tries to stay with a frost or two.

Spring brings forth the warmth of the sun,
And all too soon Winter is done.

Errant snowfalls may be allowed by Spring,
But Summer comes, melting everything.

And so Winter is confined far to the North,
Until her own time, when she may come forth.

Copyright © 2022 Brandon Ellrich

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If you liked this poem, you may also like An Ode to Darkness.

The Actor and the Realtor

This poem was “written” in response to David’s W3 Prompt #38: Wea’ve Written Weekly so please visit his page to read other responses.

The directions for this prompt were to use some type of computer generator to provide the first line of a poem and then follow it with two to 18 lines of our own. I used #3 Poem Generator. I decided to copy the generator’s entire poem and post it and then write my own as well.

In case you can’t tell, the first one is the computer’s. 😁

The Actor and the Realtor

See the contemplating of the actor,
I think he’s angry at the common factor.

He finds it hard to see the desk,
Overshadowed by the red levesque.

Who is that forgiving near the lamp?
I think she’d like to eat the steenkamp.

She is but a snarky accountant,
Admired as she sits upon a mountant.

Her gigantic car is just a bark,
It needs no gas, it runs on amusement park.

She’s not alone she brings a fountain,
a pet feline, and lots of intermountain.

The feline likes to chase a rock,
Especially one that’s in the hock.

The actor shudders at the sweet pot,
He want to leave but she wants the trot.

And now for my version (using the same first lines):

See the contemplating of the actor,
I think he's angry at the common factor.
The realtor is typing on her phone, 
Leaving him to tour alone.
He walks into an upstairs room;
It smells of death, regret, and doom.
Just one object alone exists,
His vanity cannot resist.
His arrogance and self-affection,
Cannot pass up his own reflection.
He stands before a dusty mirror, 
Leans in closer to see it clearer
A hand reaches out and grabs his tie, 
Draws him through to the other side
His conceit, vanity, and pride,
Keep him trapped forever inside.

Copyright © 2023 Brandon Ellrich

The generator couldn’t find a rhyme for “realtor” so it chose “accountant” instead; yet, it still kept the title of “The Actor and the Realtor.”

I enjoyed this venture; it was fun. But at the risk of sounding arrogant, I think my human-generated poems are better. 😁

As amazing as artificial intelligence is, I don’t believe it will get to the point that it can truly duplicate the artistic abilities of a human.

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I Sent Her Flowers

Image is a photo of Joe Ellrich wearing a teal shirt and glasses.
9/20/89 – 1/19/19
I sent your mom flowers on your birthday,
	I think you would’ve wanted me to,
Just like that song by Green Day,
	I wanna wake up when September is through.

Another Christmas alone and bereft,
	Leaves a bleak December,
January, of course, is when you left,
	Another bad month to remember.

Valentine’s Day is what lovers get;
	Another one alone again.
April is the month when first we met,
	But the memory is getting dim.

One day in August, I recall to this day,
	The first time you said “I love you.”
I was glad you did, ‘cause I was waiting to say,
	That I was in love with you too.

It’s hard to move on when all through the year,
	There are moments I’ll never forget.
Some spark a smile, and some bring a tear,
	Some happiness and some regret.

Your mom moved to another home;
	Didn’t give me a forwarding address,
So I didn’t call; I left her alone;
	She’s trying to move on, I guess.

I don’t send her flowers anymore.

Copyright © 2022 Brandon Ellrich

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Rain Cycle

Photo by Emiliano Arano on Pexels.com
The rain is dripping, sprinkling,
The ground is soaking, drinking.

The seeds are sprouting, growing,
The rivers are rippling, flowing.

The sun appears, shining, burning,
Plants are drying, turning.

Water dries, evaporates,
Clouds conform and condensate.

The rain is dripping, sprinkling…

Copyright © 2022 Brandon Ellrich

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If you like this poem, you may also like And So It Goes.

“Building” Relationship

A sight from a distance -- he’s attractive;
Plans in my mind are made.
Eye contact and a friendly chat;
The foundation has been laid.

We walk, we talk about where we grew up;
Framework is starting to form.
We insulate with talk of family;
HIs smile is friendly and warm.

Secrets revealed and like a roof o’erhead,
I feel protected when he is near.
The walls are up, but doors open wide;
I let him in without any fear.

Carpet is laid and painted walls;
I want to look good for him every day.
Furniture posed, we settle down,
In this home forever we’ll stay.

Copyright © 2023 Brandon Ellrich

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Imprisoned - there are a pair of hands holding onto prison bars from the inside of a cell.
Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com
I built my prison not with bricks,
Not with metal, wood, or stone.
The material was giv’n by foes,
But constructed by myself alone.

Razor wire does not pierce my heart,
Four walls do not constrain my soul;
Instead, four letters are all that bind,
And keep me from being whole.

Insecurities and doubt,
Make up the cage that holds me here.
Locked away by an unseen force,
This prison’s name is FEAR.

You cannot do these things you want,
I’m told by others and myself;
And so my talents and my hopes,
Were put up high upon a shelf.

I look out at the world around,
As others live so well.
I envy them their freedom,
As I sit here in my cell.

The incarcerated irony,
Is I can choose to leave;
For though the door is shut and locked,
I hold the only key.

Copyright © 2022 Brandon Ellrich

*Originally published on Medium

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Raindrop Prelude


This composition by Frederic Chopin is my favorite piece of music–to play and to listen to. The song and alleged story behind it inspired me to write this poem:

“Raindrop Prelude”

Dripping, dripping, dropping,
Constant, never stopping.

My health is in despair,
And so I must repair;

Banished to this cloister,
Full of cold and moisture.

Clouds beginning to form,
A prelude to a storm.

I’m sure my lady’s dead;
It is not in my head!

Run out into the rain,
Before I go insane!

Water will kill or save;
This lake shall be my grave.

Drip, dripping on my head,
Telling me I’m not dead.

She then returned from town,
And so we had a row.

She said ‘twas in my dream;
Aha! So it would seem.

If not for this torment,
I would but give consent.

The rain is dripping still,
Into my soul it drills.

Dripping, dripping, dropping,
Constant, never stopping.

Copyright © 2022 Brandon Ellrich

Frederic Chopin was in poor health and traveled to Mallorca; unfortunately, the weather was terrible, causing his lung disease to worsen. He was then banished to a cold monastery. It is said that he had a dream of drowning in a lake (which might have been prompted by the storm). It is during this period of time that he composed Prelude in D-Flat Major, Op. 28 no. 15, nicknamed “Raindrop” Prelude. There is a repeating A♭ throughout the piece, mimicking the constant dripping of rain.

Photo by Paul Arky on Unsplash

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