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

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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.

Joe Pesci Movie Review: Dangerous Lies

Lemme start by giving a great big middle finger thank you to Marco for finally finding the time in his scary busy blogging schedule for anotha one of my movie reviews. When he got around to calling me the other day, the cocksucker said it had just slipped his mind, can you imagine that? Slipped his mind . . . fucking guy!

Anyway, so he calls ta ask if I wanted to do a movie review and I was all excited because he’s been on a Jason Statham kick lately so I figured cool, I can watch that crazy fucking Brit kick the shit out of da bad guys for a couple hours. Oh wait, sorry. . I forgot I’m living in an age when people are offended by that kinda language. Shit, who am I kidding . . he’s a crazy fucking Brit!

Spoiler Alert: A certain asshole blogger who shall remain nameless told me I should include dis in my movie reviews, so as not to spoil tha movie for anyone who ain’t seen it. Whateva . . .

Well there ain’t no Jason Statham in the movie I watched. There ain’t a crazy Brit, or a crazy accent or even a crazy story line to get excited about in this predictable as fuck movie that felt as if da writers were kidnapped from that Lifetime channel. Yanno the one, where all the movies feel like commercials that Nicholas Sparks wrote? Fuck!

Basically, the story is about this chick who’s waiting tables until some guy decides to rob the joint. I had a big problem with this because I mean  . . who da fuck robs a restaurant? Shake down the owner? Sure. Torch the place when he stops paying up? Absolutely. But like, rob da place? For what? Eighty bucks and a bacon cheeseburger ta go? Amateur . . .

After this, the movie gets dumber than a bag of dicks. This chick is friends with some old guy who ends up leaving her everything in his will and get this . . da guy ain’t even banging her! And it’s a good thing he croaks, because ha boyfriend is majoring in “How to shit your pants in a job interview”. Turns out, he’s much better at spending the old guy’s money than he is at making his own. This chick has worse luck than my Aunt Rosemary, who once married a fashion designer because she wanted to get pregnant and well . . you probably know where I’m going with this . . .

So the chick and her degenerate boyfriend move right into the old guy’s house. It’s a big old house outside Chicago that hasn’t been updated since Richard Daley’s father was Mayor. I did a quick inventory and I figured I coulda fenced the contents of this particular abode for a cool million . . if I was in a hurry. So yanno . . these two stupid ass kids are loaded!

None of it matters because they can’t stay outta trouble. And get this . . they ain’t starting any of the trouble! After the old guy dies, they find a shitload of cash in the attic and they freak out . . as if that doesn’t happen all the time! Then they find diamonds in the old guy’s safe deposit box and they freak out . . as if THAT doesn’t happen all the time! Then they find a dead body in the garage . . as if THAT . . aww shit, you get da picture!

Thing of it is, they coulda been free and clear if they knew how ta read a hairstyle. Lemme explain. There’s this imbecile who shows up at their door early on pretending ta be a real estate salesman named Hayden even though his hair is obviously East New York hoodlum. It’s obvious this guy wants what they lucked into but instead of digging a ditch in the desert and getting rid of the pain in the ass, they become the suspects! I guess what they say is true, about youth being wasted on the dumbasses.

Anyway, in the end the imbecile dies, and so does the asshole boyfriend. Oh, and the lawyer for the old guy . . she dies too, after they find out she was part of the plot to kill him off . . . as if THAT doesn’t happen all the time! So everybody dies except for the chick. In da last scene, the detective comes by to say hello and the chick is very pregnant. She’s gonna raise the kid in the big house . . the one not named prison. So they spend a few minutes wondering where da fuck the diamonds went and as the scene fades to black, the water sprinkler shows us they’re buried in the garden.

Lemme tell you, that shit doesn’t happen all the time.



Heroes Of The Week!

It’s never a bad time to be saying Hello Dolly, so thank you to the lovely Dale for this latest get on the legendary mistress of all things melodic. The country music legend is headlining this week’s episode because she represents that light at the end of the tunnel I’ve been writing about for . . get this . . . almost a year now. Yeah.

This week, Dolly received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine she had been so instrumental in bringing to market. The money mama didn’t get preferential treatment for helping to fund research though, seeing as how she had been waiting on it since December. But no matter, because when it was her turn to go under the needle, she was there with bells on. And a song to boot. She sang a little rebooted ditty for the occasion, a down home take on her classic “Jolene”, subbing it with . . you guessed it, vaccine.

“I’ve been waiting a while,” Parton said. “I’m old enough to get it and I’m smart enough to get it.”

Bless her heart. No . . I mean it. Bless her heart.

Drew Brees' Intense Work Out, and New Hair, SparkReturn Rumors

This ain’t necessarily heroic or zeroic (a word I can only use on Fridays) but I feel it must be mentioned here, since it leans more to the latter. I’ve had the shits of this current trend among athletes who post vague messages on social media instead of just coming out with it. Two quick examples are Deshaun Watson tweeting “Loyalty is everything, don’t you EVER forget it” to the Texans when “Get me the fuck out of here or I will sit!” would have done just fine. And then there’s Drew Brees’ trainer posting a video of the quarterback pushing a weighted sled, hinting that maybe Brees ain’t done quite yet. Why not something like “I pretty much suck now but I’m coming back to make another thirty million . . somewhere, . . next year!” instead? Stop acting like mall girls, and just get to the point fellas!

Creighton's basketball coach used a racist and dumb analogy after a loss - SBNation.com

Creighton basketball coach Greg McDermott is the latest smart guy to say a dumb thing. Following a recent loss, McDermott implored his kids to stay the course with a Knute Rockhead pep talk that went exactly like this.

“Guys, we got to stick together. We need both feet in. I need everybody to stay on the plantation. I can’t have anybody leave the plantation.”

There are a million right ways to rally a team, and somehow coach still screwed the lesson plan up with this one. But credit his team for not asking him to resign, because the narrative would’ve been twisted into how the athletes have too much power in such matters. And then we’d have lost the chance to ask why the millionaires club of collegiate coaches has been given so much of it.

Alex Trebek muskox

Dale is at it again, gifting us with this next story about the late Alex Trebek. When she asked if maybe it was too soon for another Trebek story, I told her “If Kyrie can go back to back on these pages, so can Alex”, because of course he can. And will.

The image above shows Trebek visiting a muskox farm in Palmer, Alaska. Trebek became involved with the non-profit organization more than thirty years ago after its former executive director reached out to the game show host upon learning that the muskox was his favorite animal. Thus began a relationship that would last more than thirty years, with Trebek visiting the farm on several occasions. Aside from financial donations, Trebek also made certain to sign every adoption certificate for the Friends of the Musk Ox program. He became known as the “herd godfather”, and for good reason.

To all God’s creatures great and small, Alex Trebek always provided. Tell you what, the Angels have one hell of a lineup with that guy batting cleanup.

We head to the Windy City for this capo de tutti capper of a story that got all tangled up in my feels when I read it. It’s the story of a man whose passion is coffee but whose purpose colors way outside those lines.

Pete Thomas runs Pilot Pete’s, a coffeehouse that has been voted Chicago’s best cuppa a few times over, which is impressive as hell considering how serious those peeps take their java. And that would be plenty ’nuff for most business owners, but not so much with this guy. Because to his way of thinking, success is a light meant to be shared.

So he gives his time to a homeless population whose concerns go far beyond masks and limited capacity seating and vaccines. Pete Thomas comes bearing gifts . . from coffee and water to pastries and blankets and coats. Anything they need, he’s got their backs. (I dare you to watch the above video without shedding a tear).

His mom says this is the same kid he’s always been. Inclusive and compassionate and yearning to make a positive difference in all the places that need it most. And for all the unfair things this world throws at us, here’s proof of God’s existence. I mean, he gave this magnificent mama a daily front row seat to the harmony of a soul she helped write into being.

Stories like this remind me that the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the only light we have, not by a long shot. And maybe all the vicious haymakers the fates have been handing up to a great big world full of true believers doesn’t stand a chance after all. Not when we have people like Pete Thomas on our side.

It reminds me of a scene from a favorite show of mine from back in the day. It involved a band of misfit souls getting pinned into a corner in what looks to be their last stand. Left to the darkness of a wicked fate, with little chance of finding their way out, their fearless leader, Sheriff Rick, lets them know what he thinks of those wicked fates.

They messed with the wrong people.

Standing In Line With The Voices In My Head

It took me more than fifty years to figure out that habits don’t necessarily have to be wrong in order to be enjoyed. Yeah, I know all about the value of good habits but I can’t say I miss them since, well . . . I haven’t really had ’em. But seeing as how I’ve cut bait with some not so good ones, that can be considered a good habit, can’t it?

I had time to ponder such things as I was spending half a day in a grocery store checkout line. Okay, it was only about twelve and a half minutes, but when you’re as impatient as I am, it’s really the same difference. I should be thankful for the supermarket interlude since it allowed the voices in my head to braise some thoughts and add some spicy logic to the mix. Here’s what I cooked up . . .

  • I don’t consider impatience to be a bad habit, but I’ll put it here since certain people do. And I can’t help it if those certain people possess the urgency of a slug.
  • Understanding, or lack thereof by yours truly. (See above).
  • I used to miss smoking, like . . all the time. Now I only miss it in contextualized renderings that rarely have anything to do with reality. Like for instance, if a zombie apocalypse ever happens . . Imma be stocking up on nicotine for the end. And then I’ll get to smoking the fuckers till I arrive there.
  • Back in the day I used to drink several times a week because, truth be told, it was part of my brand. I was a really good time with a few drinks in me. Problem was, the good time had no boundaries and I usually woke up in the morning with more sins to account for than the Lannisters. But with age, and hospital visits, comes wisdom. And now I partake once a week. Twice if I’m being really inconvenient with the truth. Turns out that wisdom? Ain’t nearly as much fun.
  • There was a time when I used to believe there was nothing better than a smoke riding shotgun with my drink. Hell, I still believe that. I just don’t marry the two any longer since I possessed not a wit of moderation in the coupling. Turns out that wisdom? Well, you know . . .
  • Back in the day I used to go to sporting events all the time. A handful of baseball games, an NBA game or two, even some football and hockey tossed in the mix. Fast forward to 2021 and it’s been a hot minute since I attended a live game. Why do I mention it here? Because I’ve come to realize that attending sporting events is a bad habit in this day and age. You’re usually paying way too much for much too little when watching on TV makes so much more sense.
  • Political debates have become a bad habit, so I’m glad I kicked it to the curb back in the Clintonian Period. It’s easier to order a roast beef sammie at a vegan restaurant than it is to achieve a peaceably agreeable political debate. Believe me, I’ve tried . . . on both counts.
  • Cursing used to be a real bugaboo for me. I’m sorry, I don’t know what the blessed fuck got into me, using the term bugaboo . . .
  • Pain pills were my bad romance once. Damn me for leaving them.
  • I save running for last, since it’s my best habit. I’m thirty years in, having taken up skiing as my gateway drug before experimenting with a couple jogs, after which I was hooked. And while it ain’t ever gonna stop me from missing a starched martini served up with a fresh pack of smokes, I do so enjoy the supple Zen it provides, sans the sticker shock attached to those daze of yore. So as it turns out, the habit I’ve clung to the longest happens to be a good habit.

Who knew?