Heroes Of The Week

The way things are going, I could devote every single Friday to another mass shooting story. And every single Friday would be filled with stories of the dead and promises by our elected officials to dishonor their memories by sticking with the status quo. So this week, no snarky intro and no superhero images leading us into the next episode and no tune to send us into the weekend. The void seems an apt one, all things considered.

And so it goes . . .

NBA fines Kevin Durant $50,000 over language he used to Michael Rapaport

I’ve got a double dose of knuckleheadedness (Merriam Webster won’t accept this word, so I tucked it into my Fridays). This one is made possible by NBA superstar Kevin Durant and actor Michael Rappaport. The Brooklyn Nets small forward has a penchant for being overly sensitive to criticism, which is a seriously weak trait for a high profile athlete. Enter Rapaport, who tossed some trash in KD’s direction which resulted in an unfortunate return on this wasted investment. So the actor decided to dish up Durant’s reply for public consumption and yeah, these are grown ass men we’re talking about here. They’re a double play combination of dumb meeting dumber. Grow up fellas!

Shaq Pays Off Man's Engagement Ring Debt In Generous Act Caught On Video

If I was providing a title to this next story, it would be Brother Can You Spare A Diamond?. Because that’s what Shaquille O’ Neal did recently for a young man in a jewelry store in McDonough, Georgia. The customer was inquiring as to how much he still owed on a ring purchase and when O’Neal overheard the conversation, he pulled out his credit card and settled up. Shaq’s take is he’s just looking to help people out in any way he can. All he really cares about is making people smile, and the big guy does it on a regular basis. The dude brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘World Champion’.

Batgirl gets her revenge on The Joker in 'Injustice: Gods Among Us'

Speaking of growing up, Matt Gaetz doesn’t get the nod this week either. Fuck that guy . . let him stew in our green room for at least another week. After the last story, three would most definitely be a clown. I mean, a crowd. Both!

Instead, Imma turn this ride around and hit the Up button. Tom Cornish, a 96 year old WWII veteran, has never stopped giving back to the country he loves. The former Navy man and native Minnesotan has devoted his life to volunteerism, which is something he shared with his wife Marvel until her passing. Last year, Tom’s daughter gifted him a hat knitting kit and it might as well have been a light bulb sent courtesy of the universe. Because Cornish, he hatched a plan right from the get. Knitting has been a long time hobby, and so he took the kit and re-gifted it . . in the very best way. Last year he donated 400 handmade hats, and he’s still going.  Cornish says he takes pride in the fact “other people are getting something out of my labor. It’s better than playing cards or looking out the window.”

His window is open, to the whole wide world.

I’ve already made it known LaVar Burton is my answer to the question as to who should replace Alex Trebek as host of Jeopardy!. That said, I gotta admit, Green Bay Packer QB Aaron Rodgers is a natural in his own right. But this is ALL about the response a contestant gave in the final round last week. Scott Shewfelt was at a loss for the answer so he decided to troll Rodgers by writing “Who wanted to kick that field goal?”, which referred to the Packers ill fated decision to put Rodgers on the sideline and settle for three points in a season ending loss. The quarterback has been openly critical of the decision ever since, but he took the jab in stride on this night. It was fun to watch.

News, Living Water Lawn And Garden, Las Vegas, Nevada, NV

This understated episode finds its way home by way of Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Community Healing Garden was grown on the site of one of the worst mass shootings in the history of this country. On October 1st, 2017, a gunman opened fire on a crowd of concert goers during the Route 91 Harvest Festival, killing 58 and injuring 489 more.

A beautiful place to reflect': Memorial garden springs up downtown to honor victims - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper

The next day, a sketch on a cocktail napkin became the blueprint for an idea. To make a garden out of the site in honor of the lost. By late afternoon, the plan was set in place and by the end of the week, the project was completed. So the next time someone tells you nothing can be done about the gun crisis in this country, take note of what was accomplished inside of basically four days time.

Healing Las Vegas | News Center | University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Community organizations, small business owners and volunteers of all ages came together and brought life back to a place that had lost so much of it. A “Tree of Life” was donated by Siegfried and Roy. 58 more trees were donated in honor of each life that had been stolen on that October night. There is a Remembrance Wall, painted rocks with the names of the lost, flowers, pictures and other mementoes placed on the grounds in their memory.

The Las vegas Community Healing Garden - 2021 All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

There’s a garden in Las Vegas where the lost have a name, and it’s testament to what can be done when people come together for the greater good. Because nothing will change until we recognize that so much has to change. We owe it to the countless thousands of souls whose voices have been lost to the madness and we owe it to our children.

We have to give tomorrow a chance.

Photo of Las Vegas Community Healing Garden - Las Vegas, NV, United States

 

 

 

 

History’s Uppercut

Baylor Falls to Gonzaga 83-71 - Our Daily Bears

This happens to be more times than I figured on writing anything about college basketball, and it’s entirely the fault of the Gonzaga Bulldogs. And maybe I’ll never write another word about a sport I have no investment in, excepting for a signed basketball by the 1991 Duke team that won a national title. And that’s okay with me, because Gonzaga made me pay attention on Monday night.

Watch? Well . . no. I was tired and so I napped away the first half before waking to a Baylor rout in the making. And so I figured it was a good bet that the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers would remain the last undefeated champion in the sport. I didn’t feel the need to watch history take its best shot, because I know how that usually turns out.

The Zags had a great season at 31-1, even if that one loss looks bigger than the thirty one wins that came before it. That’s how it works in sports. History doesn’t play nice when it comes to matters of perfection. I’m not sure how many college basketball teams have gotten close to a perfect season. I remember UNLV losing their chance to that Duke team in the ’91 National Semis. And I think Kentucky had a chance a while back. Gonzaga got further than either of these teams, but still . . falling forty minutes short only feels worse.

The New England Patriots had the worst 18-1 record in NFL history back in 2007, seeing as how the one loss came in the last game of the season with a chance at perfection in their grasp. Since the Hoosiers perfecto of a season, many have tried but none have succeeded. Because the only sure thing about sports is that, more often than not, it flips the script on you when you least expect it.

To set a course for perfection is a brilliant sounding plan, but as former New York Giant Michael Strahan once remarked “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face”. And while he was talking about how his Giants took it to those perfect Pats, he might as well have been talking about history’s uppercut. It’s a keeper.

It doesn’t change the narrative, not for me it doesn’t. Because the Gonzaga kids earned the right to be immortalized by getting to the final game of the season with nary a pimple on their season’s resume. Inside the forty minutes they played last night, it wasn’t about wins or losses as much as it was about the chance to deliver an outcome whose echo will keep paying it forward for decades on end.

And in the end, the echo will carry. Sure, the ending is going to look a lot different than they were planning on. But they’ll be remembered nonetheless, and for a good long while. Until some other college team makes it through a season unscathed, at which time it will become their turn to figure out how to win the gauntlet with history breathing down their necks.

I’d have to believe the Gonzaga kids will be pulling for them.

 

Heroes Of The Week!

Zack Snyder's Justice League: New Clip Teases Black-and-White Version

Another week and another slew of forgettable and worse stories making headlines From the 100 fully vaccinated peeps getting COVID in Washington State to Florida Representative Matt Gaetz being investigated for sex trafficking to yet another mass shooting, this one in Southern California.

This week’s episode isn’t perfect, but hey . . I learned it from watching news. So what do you say we get to it? . . .

Deflategate victory leaves Roger Goodell all powerful in kingdom of NFL | Sporting News

Raja could be here for his latest money grab, in the form of a 17th game. But the NFLPA and the owners were more than happy to go along with it as they move towards an eventual 18 game season so whatever. But no more PSA’s about injuries and early retirements after this, fellas, because y’all signed off on it.

No, the Boss of all Sports Bosses is here because of his silence on the Deshaun Watson front. The Houston Texans star currently faces twenty-one sexual assault allegations. Not that long ago, Watson trade talk was all the rage, and while it has been muted since these charges went public, it’s incumbent on Goodell to freeze any trade talk. Immediately. The idea that teams called Houston after the allegations began multiplying is sickening, and I hope those teams are identified so their people are called to answer for it.

Fox, OAN Shoot Down Matt Gaetz's Dream of Becoming a Right-Wing Media Star | Vanity Fair

A new first on Heroes and it’s happening because I don’t feel like talking about Matt Gaetz this week. But a coming attraction for when I break out a can of whoop-ass on this friend of Trump? Oh hell yeah. Stay tuned . . .

Alright, enough of that nonsense. Next up, I have a double dose of delightful served up by Dale. You dig?

Max with Joe's sleeping bag 1.JPG

First up is an 11 year old by the name of Max Woosey who went on a 365 day (or in this case, night) winning streak when the lockdown began last March. His team? The North Devon Hospice in England. It all began when little Max was gifted a sleeping bag by his neighbor, who later died of cancer. The kid decided to camp out in his backyard with the sleeping bag when he learned all hospice fund raising events had been canceled due to COVID-19. Thanks to his sponsors, one year later, Max had collected more than half a million pounds. He went through several tents as a result of the weather; one gifted to him by the family of a soldier who died while serving in Afghanistan. Thanks to Max’s efforts, the hospice has been able to provide care for the people who need it most. Gives a whole new meaning to good night’s sleep, doesn’t it?

Peak Vista vaccinates 200 local homeless people | News | csindy.com

Speaking of people in need, the homeless population has been overlooked in too many cities as the mad rush for vaccinations continues. Colorado Springs ain’t one of those places, thanks to the Peak Vista Community Health Centers and Springs Rescue Mission. This dynamic duo got together to provide two hundred doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to the homeless in Colorado Springs.

“This is a turning point for the community,” says Jack Briggs, president and CEO of Springs Rescue Mission. “If you think about homelessness, there are three things you’re trying to address: The first is health, the second is their housing, and the third is work. You can’t get to housing or work if they’re not healthy. The COVID virus has had impact in a lot of communities, but particularly in the homeless community — it’s isolated them even more than before. By getting them vaccinated and prepared to re-enter society, whether it’s in housing or work, having this in their portfolio of health is going to be very important.”

This is how a civilized society conducts its business. Bravo to these good people.

To say I’m not a fan of kids is an understatement. I mean, it’s not like I’m the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. That guy went looking for the little buggers, after all. So it’s entirely the fault of the peeps at CNN that I watched an entire two minute video where little kids offered up solutions on how to extricate the cargo ship Ever Given from the Suez Canal. And I probably ain’t gonna have to dare you to watch it either.

Imma put a bow-tie on this week’s episode with a story that puts Grubhub and DoorDash to shame . . . .

Editor’s Note: The author of this post made light of your online businesses, but he wants you to know he truly appreciates your services. So concerning any future orders he might place, no hard feelings . . . coo? 

While Chef Steve Chu is familiar with take-out orders at his Asian-Fusion restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland, he probably never envisioned fulfilling one like this. But when the owner/operator of Ekiben learned that one of his long time patrons was losing her battle with cancer, he decided to cook up her favorite meal for her one last time. Personally.

Chu, along with his business partner and a restaurant worker loaded up his pickup truck and made way for the parking lot of her condominium where they fired up the grill and cooked up some tempura broccoli. Oh yeah . . did I forget to mention that his long time patron lives in Vermont now? Yeah . . . six hours . . . over five hundred miles . . . and the best damn dish of tempura broccoli. Ever.

The offer to stay for dinner was politely refused, and no payment was taken for the good deed. For Chu, it was about doing right by a customer who had become so much more than a number. It was his way of saying thank you to her for all the times she chose his place to visit. It was his way of giving back to the people who kept him afloat through some pretty tough times. Because sometimes it’s about the journey and sometimes it’s about the destination and sometimes, well . . yeah.

It’s about both.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Partly Interesting With A Chance Of Greatness

Beavers bound for Elite Eight with 65-58 win over Loyola | Ncaa Basketball  | hastingstribune.com

In lieu of common sense and because I don’t drink the way I used to, Imma dish yet again on the world of college basketball. Or more specifically, “March Madness”. For those of you unfamiliar with the college basketball tournament, congratulations! It means you have a life.

For the rest of the population, this month long carnival validates our belief in the underdog. It’s a time when fans can rejoice in the accomplishments of student athletes while paying homage to sacred programs run by coaches who value teaching above wins and losses . . . okay, that’s not it at all. Nope, March Madness is when fans blow their vacation money on schools they never heard of. It’s also a convenient excuse to drink too much beer and eat too many hot wings . . and call off work.

In spite of the much hyped moniker, there’s precious little madness to it all. It’s a tournament that involves sixty-four teams, although by now it might be sixty-eight . . or a hundred . . rest assured it’s a shitload of teams. They all have one thing in common, they’re all unpaid amateurs . . tall, lanky pups who’ve been seeded based on the opinions of a committee made up of . . you guessed it, NCAA suits. But it doesn’t matter what the suits say because these are kids we’re talking about here. And if the star player for a “prohibitive favorite” ends up getting dumped by his high school sweetheart? Well, you can use your bracket for toilet paper.

Tournament seedings are based on qualifiers such as conference strength, conference records, ranked vs unranked teams and other important sounding bullshit. But it’s all conjecture. You’re better off wagering a thousand bucks that you’ll run into your doctor in a grocery store checkout today than pluck it down on a group of young men who have little idea what their lives are going to look like next month.

The selling point of “Madness” is that there are upsets aplenty, but a quick look at three of the most talked about finals upsets tells a different story.

1983- North Carolina State defeats Houston: The late Jim Valvano was every bit the crooked recruiter as Houston, he was simply more charming.

1985- Villanova defeats Georgetown: Villanova is a big time basketball program, always has been. No upset there.

1991- Duke defeats UNLV: This was considered an upset because Duke’s roster was full of kids who went to class.

A couple years back, a sixteen seed (the lowest a bracket has to offer) beat the number one seed Virginia Cavaliers. But to go and call it a “monumental upset” is to conveniently forget that Bob Barker is older than the combined age of the Virginia roster. So there’s that.

Which brings us to this year’s darlings of the dance, the undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs. They are now two wins shy of the title game, and it’s a tilt I would tune in to watch. Not because I believe they’re a mortal lock, but rather, because I know it’s never that easy when you’re talking about kids. Hell, the 2007 New England Patriots were a bunch of grown ass men with rings on their resumes and they got their asses handed to them in a one game winner take all contest.

Of course, there’s still time for some club to knock off the Bulldogs before they get there. After which paid shills journalists and broadcasters will exclaim that “Cinderella” crashed the dance, even if it’s just not true. And what’s even dumber is that these talking pinheads can’t shut up long enough to let the games just be. To let the kids just . . be kids. In all their bluster, they miss the point of it all. Entirely.

The only thing that really has to be true is the chance.

Our National Seal

10 killed in Boulder shooting: Victims identified, suspect charged - ABC News

It’s been a little more than a year since the life we once knew went missing to the vacuous stratagems of measured spaces and protective equipment. Inside this collective time gap, our lives have been made to feel like the chapters of a Richard Preston page turner; witnesses to the terrors of nature, whose shadow remains.

And then the last week reminded us once again, what normal used to look like before we went inside.

When a gunman opened fire with an assault-style rifle at a King Soopers grocery store in Colorado on Monday afternoon, it was the culmination of a week long series of mass shootings across the nation. From Georgia to Oregon. From California to Houston to Dallas to Pennsylvania to a supermarket located just a couple miles off the campus of Colorado University.

America is waking up to the reality of what we had become as a society, and what we still are. And now we get to read about the latest failures of our local, state and federal agencies. We get to listen to the mind numbingly tone deaf rants of elected officials who use the tragic occasions to spew their rhetoric. We get to hear first hand accounts of the war that’s been taking place right here at home for far too long a time.

Colorado shooting at supermarket leaves 10 dead in latest mass tragedy; suspect in custody | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Ryan Borowski provided one of those first hand accounts from the front lines; a survivor of the Boulder shootings, he’ll never look at Monday afternoons or grocery stores the same way again.

“This feels like the safest spot in America, and I just nearly got killed for getting a soda . .”

It’s too simplistic to call Borowski and all the others who survive these rampages the ‘lucky ones’. Its too neat, since we do not know what they dream about, we do not know all the memories they carry with them in their waking hours. And we pray like hell that we never do.

These Are the Victims of the Atlanta Spa Shootings

The murderous lurk of seven shootings in seven days kept right on going this week. From Ohio to Alabama to Georgia. More lost souls to bury, more first hand accounts to read about and not a whit of hope to cling to inside all the madness.

So here we are, riders on the storm of a battle we can’t pawn off on 2020. And we’re left to wonder why it was that we yearned for a return to business as usual without considering what that used to mean. Because just as we struggle to loose ourselves from the entanglement of one terror, we step right back into the clutches of another.

It feels so damned naïve, to think about how we wanted to go back to the way things were before.

Sadly, we got it.

To Thine Own Self, Be Mellow

If there’s one thing that flips my script, it’s someone harshing my mellow. In my last love thing, it happened just like that. She wrote a blog post in which she used the phrase (Harsh my mellow) in a curiously sardonic fashion. Curious because she knew it was my Zen place and yet she found it necessary to peddle the shit in an impudent middle finger to me. Sure, the gesture was little more than a passive/aggressive jab, but to me it was kryptonite on a platter. It wasn’t the reason for our Waterloo, just a sign that we had already set sail for the place.

So when I complain about the Block editor, it’s because the thing harshes a mellow I struggle to hold onto every single day. I understand this makes me cranky and temperamental and maybe even unreasonable to the dynamics of a relationship, in this case, writing. Thing is, why is it wrong to hold to such a thing? Why should I feel like I’m the one at fault for simply crushing on a method and wanting to keep it status quo?

The status quo is a vastly underrated neighborhood. It gets the shit beaten out of it by progress only because technology is changing the world every couple months. Adapting means you either get down with the next gen sexy or you find yourself staying home on Saturday night. And that’s cool, to a point.

But to paraphrase a Billy Joel standard, as it pertains to Block Editor, don’t go changing to try and fleece me, When the website mavens from San Fran felt like it was time to banish the old in favor of a brand spanking new ride, they shouldn’t make peeps feel old in the process. That shit harshes my mellow, man!

The search for peace of mind comes from a less simple time in my life, made less simple by yours truly. It was a low down dirty existence of a past, inside of which the only thing that mattered when push began shoving me off the edge was that indefinable construct that my brain could nestle inside of. There had to be something that mattered. I mean . . really mattered. 

The mellow is a conduit for me, the intersection of creativity and peace of mind, the latter of which is a priceless commodity. It’s just one of those things that I consider sacred, in a world where sacred things would get turned down if they applied for a loan.

Personally, I think the plushest flowers grow best when the garden is arcane.

Heroes Of The Week (F#*&ing WordPress Edition)

Thanks to the grab every loose dollar symmetry of the ass hats at WordPress, I’m writing this post from a bookmarked version of the old school classic editor. They’re intent on cockering their spaniels with new toys whilst making us pay for the old news  Come on people, y’all don’t have to chase those of us who prefer the classic version into a bunker, do you?

Now let’s get to the roster . . .

What? You thought I was gonna forget? Nope, it’s not my style to let someone off the hook when they put themselves there in the first place. The above image is what I would pay for the privilege of keeping my classic editor . . if I had a hole in my fucking head. I did some investigating into what a plug-in would cost, with the idea that I’d pluck down a bill if need be to keep it classic. But $300 bucks? (Sorry, I mean $268 bucks?) . . . Nah thank you.

10 Funny, Classy, and Inspirational Wine Quotes for National Wine Day

So a big thank you to wine. All it took was a glass of Cabernet Merlot to chase away the meh feeling WordPress had gifted me. To think, for fifteen bucks all my concerns were swept away . . . just like that. Imma get Robert Mondavi to call the peeps at WordPress and teach them how to make money and keep the customer happy. Both . . .

LeBron James, once a Yankees fan, to become part-owner of Boston Red Sox (report)

Next up is a hero/zero combo for the side pocket and the win. In his latest non-basketball related move, LeBron James became a part owner of the Boston Red Sox. The Lakers forward will surpass $1 billion in career earnings this year, and he’s working his green in the hopes of one day scoring his very own club. LBJ’s career is a multi-verse tale of big wins, on and off the court. So why do I also have this story in my Zero File? Because it’s the fucking Red Sox, man. . . come on!

The mattress a Chicago girl and her siblings used to jump out their third floor window.

There’s an eight year old girl out there whose two little brothers are going to be paying for dinner, like all the time, when they grow up. That’s because big sister saved them from a fire with her quick thinking. As flames engulfed their third-floor apartment, the girl threw a mattress out the window in order to provide a soft landing. Investigators are looking into the cause of the fire, not to mention the whereabouts of the babysitter who was supposed to be tending to the kids while their mother was at work. Yanno, every time one of her little brothers tries pulling some shit, she’s gonna be like “Remember when I saved your little asses from that fire?”. I mean, can you blame her?

Aesop once said that no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. And as far as the peeps in Dauphin, Pennsylvania are concerned, it doesn’t go unnoticed either. They recently took up a collection for their UPS driver, Chad Turns. The goal was to raise $500 for him as their way of saying thank you for all that he does. Last year, while life seemed to come to a standstill for many, Chad never stopped rolling.

“The whole town has had personal experience with Chad,” Dauphin resident Adam Shickley says. “He once thought a package was a gift and there was a picture on the front. My kids were playing outside so he waited until his shift was done and came back to make sure they didn’t see it.”

It’s little things like this that add up on the old cosmic tote board, and Chad Turns has provided his share of them. And speaking of adding up, this fundraiser’s original goal was scaled with ease before settling in at a cool grand. Which the town presented to him, along with a big thank you card, delivered to the man in a much deserved turnabout. It’s yet another reminder that every act of kindness really is essential.

Dick Hoyt pushed his son Rick in the Boston Marathon in 2006. The two competed in that race nearly every year from 1980 to 2014.

I’ve got a melancholy capper to this week’s episode, with the news of Dick Hoyt’s passing.

His was a life straight off the canvas of a Norman Rockwell painting. Hoyt was born in 1940 in Winchester, Massachusetts. The captain of his North Reading football team, he would end up marrying the head cheerleader, Judy Leighton. He served in the Army National Guard as well as the Air National Guard for almost forty years.

Hoyt also happened to be a part of one of the most beloved teams in New England sports history. It all began in 1977 when his son Rick asked his father if they could take part in a five mile benefit race for a lacrosse player who had been paralyzed. It was a revelation whose wake would cause ripples from Hopkinton to Malibu before all was said and done.

Rick Hoyt was born in 1962 without the ability to speak or use his limbs. A quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, he communicated via a computer keypad he tapped with his head. But it was the shared spirit of a father and his son that created a language all its own during that first run, as dad pushed them across the finish line. They would finish next to last, but the dream was just getting started.

Over the next thirty seven years, they would complete more than 1,000 races. Dad would finish first in his age group in the Marine Corps Marathon in 1992, with a time of 2 hours, 40 minutes and 47 seconds. They also completed six Ironman triathlons and later biked and ran across the country. A bronze statue of the father/son team stands near the starting line of the Boston Marathon with a plaque that reads “Yes, you can!”

Sadly, their final Boston Marathon was cut short by the deadly bombing at the finish line in 2013. Remarkably, it was to have been the thirty-second successful run for this father and son team.

They came back the next year to finish what they started.

 

 

 

 

 

March Madness Needs Its One True King

Faceless Men: 10 Things HBO's GoT Leaves Out About Them

If you ain’t tuning into “March Madness” this week, congratulations for not buying the hype.

Because unless you filled out a bracket with some cash involved, there really isn’t a reason to pay attention to a sport that jumped the shark during the Clinton administration. Network executives and the carnival barkers who shill the sport would disagree, until they lose television rights. After which they do what basically ninety eight percent of the population does; they ignore it. Don’t ask the student population because they only pay attention to college basketball if it A) Is attached to post-game drinking or B) Means they can ditch the books for a night.

If you were a fan of Game of Thrones, think of it this way. The zenith of the game was like the first six seasons of the show, but if you kept watching, you stayed too long.

Back when the sport was Rome, the names on the marquee meant everything. Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton were UCLA. Magic was Michigan State, Patrick Ewing was Georgetown, Jordan was UNC and Grant Hill was Duke. And then a kid from Lower Merion decided to jump right to the NBA, where he would become a star five minutes later. And while Kobe Bryant wasn’t the first high school kid to do it, his move set the tone for what was to come. Years later, LeBron James followed suit and if you don’t think the college game would be way more relevant today if he’d gone to Ohio State, then you ain’t been paying attention.

This ushered in the “One and Done” scenario, which was a ham handed effort by the NCAA to place age limits on players who wished to forego college and go straight to the NBA. Problem was, the best players used the gap year of college ball to polish up their brand for the next level with no designs on sticking around. And so now college programs are identifiable by their coaches, most of whom behave like used car salesmen . . for stolen cars.

Listen, it’s nice to think that amateurism would make for a nice change of pace, but if you take the stars out of a game . . any game, the appeal suffers. Ask the Cleveland Cavaliers about that. Or last year’s Patriots, or next year’s Saints. The fact that I can’t name a single college basketball player is a huge problem for a sport that professes to be about student athletes but is really a minor league system for the next level.

Which is why Imma be rooting for Gonzaga to win it all. The Bulldogs are 26-0 coming in to the tournament, and with six more W’s they’ll become the first team since Indiana to complete an undefeated season. If you’re scoring at home, that’s forty five years worth of nope to such hope.

If they lose, it won’t be an “upset” in spite of what the network shills would tell you. There are no real upsets in a sport made up of kids playing sudden death games, after all. But if Gonzaga makes it to the finals, I’ll actually tune into a college basketball game. It won’t bring relevancy to a sport that lost itself to progress, but it sure as hell will have people paying attention to something other than their money or their office bracket. And wouldn’t it be sweet irony for a sport that’s gotten suplexed by scandal and sneaker impresarios and player agents, to find perfection in an age when you can’t tell the players without Alexa?

Even Dick Vitale couldn’t screw that one up.

 

 

 

 

Oh The Places We’ll Go On The Wings Of A Dream

Dr Seuss oh say can you say. Best quote about rain. | Rainy day quotes, Rain quotes, Dr seuss quotes

This post is in honor of Theodor Seuss Geisel, whose contributions to the world will never be quieted. And to those who seek to expunge his brilliance by indicting his character, may your lives never be interesting enough to require such a posthumous inventory.

What if dreamers were green like the Martians from space,

how would people decide on the matters of race?

Would they judge based on accents or habits or place,

if the dreamers were green when we stood face to face?

Might a song be the difference or maybe a book,

or maybe a gesture, a wink or a look.

Would they judge based on guesses or yesses or no’s,

might they say “She’s a this!” and exclaim “He’s a those!”,

And who would preside over matters like this,

and what would they harp on and what would they miss?

Would they care about heart, would they think about soul,

or would context be deemed as not having a role?

Would the kids of the kids of the kids who were green,

be decried as mad racists and labeled obscene?

Not for what they had done or for what they had said,

but for dreams that took flight from the words that they read.

And what of a world where these dreams go unread,

what happens if all of those words go unsaid?

Do the dreamers retreat . . . do those readers take flight,

or honor the man who inspired them to write?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Daughters Deserve Better

This is where Heroes resides most Fridays, but not this one.

This past week, Les Miles resigned from his position as head football coach of the Kansas Jayhawks. The announcement came on the heels of allegations of sexual misconduct against Miles for incidents that occurred during his tenure at LSU. To refer to this latest incident as a revelation, as certain news outlets have done, is to dismiss out of hand the fact that these charges are a decade old.

The fact that this story has mostly flown under the radar of national sports outlets is a sobering testament to just how far the women’s movement still has to go. It’s also a scathing appraisal of the sports landscape, where women are still objectified and where cases of violence, abuse and sexual misconduct are oftentimes covered up or pushed aside. Sports leagues and the networks who fill their coffers have done a commendable job of providing us with bumper sticker slogans about women’s rights, but it’s a theoretical illusion whose practices tell a very different story.

This week’s sports news cycle has been rife with quarterback trade scenarios and big money signings, mock drafts, college basketball tournaments and all star slam dunk contests. Basically, the talking points for lame sports talk radio fodder takes precedence over the reality too many women are still facing on a daily basis. It would seem that their ‘woke’ is still broke.

While at LSU, Les Miles lorded over a football program whose treatment of women was shameful at best and criminal at its worst. Miles provided a refuge for players who put the female population on campus at risk by patently absolving them of any wrongdoing in numerous instances. Assault and rape went hand in hand with SEC titles at the school as the quirky old school coach created a cult of personality that shielded his sorry ass, so long as he continued winning.

It was his own personal conduct towards female students that brought him under fire recently. There have been accusations of harassment and stories of how the coach insisted on being surrounding by “blondes with big boobs” in the workplace. Things got so bad that the administration was forced to babysit Miles for fear his behavior would draw the attention of someone outside the university. As it was, the school did its best to protect Miles, at the expense of all the women who came forward.

Miles has since resigned as head football coach at Kansas. He denied any wrongdoing and he talked about football and his players and of course, his family. He didn’t provide an explanation as to why he was stepping down if he hadn’t done anything wrong in the first place. It was an easy decision for the administration, seeing as how he was 3-18 in his two seasons at the helm. Because it’s always easier for these programs to do the right thing when the coach isn’t winning games and donor money starts to dry up. As for the guy who hired him, his pal Athletic Director Jeff Long stepped down two days after the story broke, in a move that KU chancellor Douglas Girod called “selfless”. And there’s the tell in this whole sordid mess, tucked into the language of the blameless. Kansas becomes just the latest collegiate program to get found out for what it truly is, rather than what it purports to be.

Girod has begun the process of pretending away the past, and this is where things get expensive. The school has hired a search firm to assist them in finding their next coach. It’s a good bet they’ll look to add a PR firm to their payroll while they’re at it, so that they can frame their guilt in gold leaf. They’ll insist they hadn’t a clue as to why a big deal name such as Les Miles would’ve been interested in taking over an also-ran program in the middle of nowhere when the truth of the matter is, he was damaged goods all along. Of course, to bring those details to light would make Girod and a lot of other really important people complicit in the aiding and abetting of another bad guy ball coach. Because the sad fact is, Miles’ sordid past didn’t deter the people who hired him.

It was his winless present that made it easy to let him go.