Heroes Of The Week!

Swamp Thing

Poll Dancing- A lot of news outlets have the democrats winning the White House in 2020, while Trump rails against the fake results. But my question is this? Why in the blessed fuck are we already in training camp for an election that is sixteen months out? Don’t a lot of these candidates have the people’s work to be doing?

Twist of fate- Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson took the moment over money and in so doing, gave their team everything they had. Thompson kept his team in Game 6 with 30 points, before going out with an ACL tear. And Durant came back when he could have gone the business route. He scored 11 points in twelve minutes in Game 5 before injuring his Achilles, but his efforts got the Warriors one more game.

The North!- But the one more game went to the Raptors, who bring the Stanley Cup . . I mean NBA trophy home to Canada for the first time. Few gave them a chance to win before the playoffs began, and yet here they are. Dino-might!

The lovely Dale over at A Dalectable Life hit me with a triple shot of feel good this past week. While I lord over the darkness, good thing I got peeps like her to help me see the light once in a while.

Book It- William Kamkwamba grew up in the impoverished East African country of Malawi with the destiny of his ancestors staring him straight in the face. A teenage farmer, his family lacked the funds to send him to high school so he dropped out in his freshman year. Kamkwamba never accepted his fate. At 14 he was borrowing books from a lending library and he learned how to construct windmills in order to provide power and irrigation to his village. He graduated from Dartmouth in 2014 and now develops technology curriculum that will provide the continent with a better future.

Born Winner- Simon Cheprot of Kenya was in a fight to the finish line of a 10 K race in Nigeria when he spotted a fellow runner down mere feet from the end of the race. Rather than take advantage of Kenneth Kipkemoi’s unlucky turn, Cheprot helped him across the finish line. He lost the race as a result, but none of that mattered as much as helping a fellow runner, and human being. The race organizers were so inspired by Cheprot’s sportsmanship that they awarded him $15,000 for his efforts.

For Cheprot, it wasn’t about the money though. “Running is not war; running brings peace, unity, and friendship.” The dude is tops in the most important race of all; the human race.

Green thumbs up- When someone stole cauliflower from his garden one day, Johan Scott didn’t get mad . . he got proactive. The retired police officer from Heidelburg, South Africa didn’t take the theft as a personal affront; he saw it as evidence that his neighbors were going hungry. So he expanded his garden onto his pavement in order to help provide for those in need. He planted beans, tomatoes, eggplant and beetroot and he offers it up free of charge to those in need. When he might have given up, he gave back instead.

He shows up, daily- Big thanks to Susannah at athingirldotcom for chiming in on Jon Stewart’s impassioned speech before Congress this week. The former talk show host was in Washington to speak on behalf of the 9/11 first responders who are ailing or have passed as a result of their exposure to toxins at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the terror attacks. Stewart is a a 9/11 Memorial & Museum board member. He has been a tireless advocate and much needed voice for those who need it most. His testimony was in support of the “Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act, which was advanced unanimously by the House Judiciary Committee.

“(These heroes) brought our country back, … (and) gave a reeling nation a solid foundation to stand back upon.” Amen to that.

Hating on excellence- The U.S. women’s soccer team is coming under fire for running up the score against Thailand? Having played organized sports, albeit at a much lower level than the ladies, I will say this. While it’s humbling to get your ass kicked, it’s humiliating when the opposing team takes mercy on you. Leave the ladies alone.

Singing the Blues- The St. Louis Blues franchise is a year younger than I am, having started its business back in 1967. And from the get, they were making history. They reached the Stanley Cup finals in each of their first three seasons, a feat unmatched in any sport. And so what if they got blanked to the tune (pun intended) of 12-0? They had Scotty Bowman on the bench, and so there was gonna be plenty ‘mo where that came from.

And then Bowman became a legend, somewhere else. He forged a dynasty in Montreal before winning more hardware in stops that included Pittsburgh and Detroit. Meanwhile, the Blues stopped making it a habit of reaching the finals. This year, for the first time in half a century, the Blues finally made it back. And they were rewarded with a match-up against the heavily favored Bruins. And Blues fans had to be thinking, “Here we go again . .”. Especially after a lackluster Game 6 loss in St Louis that seemed to let the Bruins off the hook.

So the Blues shipped off to Boston to accept the silver medal, again. And then a funny thing happened, and the boys played the game of their lives when it mattered most. And then all those ghosts of lost seasons past didn’t matter at all as the buzzer sounded and it was certain that the Cup would be living in St Louis proper for the summer. The band Phish (from New England, oh by the way) was playing a gig when they got word the Blues had won. So they covered the Blues anthem song, Gloria by Laura Branigan. It’s a hockey thing, you have to understand.

The Blues always had the cool sweaters, and one of the best sports towns in the country. Now they have the Cup as well.

Sing us home, Laura.

 

Heroes Of The Week!

Super Woman

Fandumb- Sports fans have a hard time staying in their lane but Warriors minority owner Mark Stevens took this hubris to another level Wednesday night when he shoved the Raptors Kyle Lowry after the point guard fell out of bounds. Stevens was kicked out for his actions and is not welcome for the remainder of the NBA Finals. Here’s hoping the Warriors don’t stop there. Stevens should be forced to sell his share of the club because there’s no room for his antics.

What a ride!- Lemuel Buster is a volleyball referee at Paulding County Parks and Recreation Department in Paulding County, Georgia. The dude is so committed to the kids he works with that after his car’s transmission went to the great beyond, he rented a car so he wouldn’t miss a game. A collection was taken up, after which Buster was presented with a Chrysler Sebring convertible and $2,000 in gift card donations. You really do get what you give.

NFL boss bullies Buffalo- When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell talks about how the Bills need a new stadium to remain ‘competitive’, that’s what he’s doing. He’s pricing out a town that sits on the poverty line. He wants to bring his corporate (expensive) visions to a blue collar town, even if they can’t afford it. That is shameful.

YouTube find of the week #1- Kenneth Copeland is proof positive there is a hereafter. Because this creep is a demon, first class. He proves it, again, in this video.

Cheap Shit King strikes again!- Walmart lost the two tier graduation cake Marsy Flores ordered for her daughter, so they had her pick out a cake of her choice- free of charge- and they decorated it. Fast forward to the graduation party when the proud mama sliced into . . . Styrofoam. Because they gave her a fucking display cake. Low prices ain’t worth this kind of stupid.

Home (Depot) is where the heart is- Two year old Logan Moore has a condition called hypotonia which affects muscle tone and stability. As a result of this, he is unable to walk on his own and the insurance process to get Logan a walker is tedious. So his mom Christian took him to Home Depot recently in search of materials with which to make their own. Once the peeps knew the deal, they helped her find everything and then the manager sent her family out for ice cream. When they returned, Logan had a walker made from PVC piping. Gratis. That’s how you make the world a home.

Justice? Or just this?- Former Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson deserved to be fired. The resource officer failed the students and faculty at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School, where 17 lives were taken last year. But the 11 criminal charges lodged against him is unprecedented and I wonder if it sticks or if this is just for show. Was it so we’ll stop asking why school administrators didn’t heed all the warning signs, or why the FBI didn’t do any followup on Nikolas Cruz before that fateful day? I’m not defending Peterson by any means. But this feels like subterfuge.

YouTube find of the week #2- Wait, hold up . . these dudes stole my moves!

Experts in Bullshitology- The NBA finals is proving (once again) that sports analysts are nothing more than overpaid guesswork artists. I’ve watched three prominent voices change their predictions twice already . . and they’ve only played three games!

Back to the Bat Cave! Again?!- Maybe Robert Pattinson ends up being the actor who does for Batman what Heath Ledger did for the Joker. But hells . . can’t all these brilliant minds at DC let the Bat Man chill for a while?

Special Delivery- Saturday was always a special day for the Creans and their dog Casey. It was package day for the couple, and Josh the Fed Ex driver never forgot to include Casey in the festivities, leaving a treat on top of the box each time. Casey’s passing in April hit her owners, and Josh, hard. So he took it upon himself to gift the Creans a paw print memorial to put in their garden. For some it might be a job, but not this dude.

YouTube find of the week #3- The Boss of 10 Downing Street is Larry the Cat. That’s wassup.

Imma wrap this week’s installment in a baseball doubleheader of sorts, and special thanks to Frank at A Frank Angle for the righteous pitch. The dude is an ace when it comes to great stories.

Last week the nation gave thanks to the uniforms who keeps us safe every day whilst paying homage to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. And if baseball gets anything right, it’s in recognizing the real heroes.

At Yankee Stadium, the home team honored 104 year old WWII veteran Luis Forte during the seventh inning of their game against the San Diego Padres. Forte’s life had come full circle inside that special moment as he talked about plucking down twenty five cents for a bleacher seat as a young boy. In 1942, as a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps, Forte was plunged into the theater of battle in Europe. He calls himself one of the lucky ones, having lost a lot of friends during his four years served.

Army Captain Michael Medders is one of those who never made it home. In 2008, Medders was killed when a suicide bomber detonated his vest during an operation in Baqubah, Iraq. The former All Ohio defensive lineman for Bowling Green State University climbed the military ranks quickly and made an impression on every life he touched.

It’s why Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona wore a patch with Medder’s name on it last week. “He was a football player, sang in the choir,” said Francona ,”One of those all-around kids.” Yes . . . a kid. Because it’s important to remember that twenty five years was all he got to live. We can’t forget that.

We just can’t.

Heroes Of The Week!

Captain America

It was a meh week for yours truly as I tried to catch up on sleep by getting even less of it. And the news wasn’t doing me any favors as per my Friday fix. There was more Mueller, because we ain’t ever getting enough. I’m sure John Gotti is looking at all these investigations into President Trump and going “Va fangul! This guy’s dirtier than I evah wuz!” And he wouldn’t be wrong.

The Toronto Raptors did become the first Canadian team to make the NBA finals, with that dime on a dollar talent Drake prowling the sidelines annoying the shit out of everyone. How can he call himself a Raptors fan if he has tats of two Golden State Warriors? I say we impeach his sorry ass.

Regular Local Joe Hero: Dandon Miller of Lancaster County, Pa celebrated Memorial Day weekend most symbolically. The motorcyclist was traveling on U.S. 30 when traffic ground to a halt. He jumped from his bike to find an injured bald eagle that had been struck by a passing vehicle laying in the middle of the road. Miller used his flannel shirt to scoop her up and the two waited on the side of the road for a bird rescue unit to arrive. Thanks to Miller, the eagle is going to make a full recovery. Hey Philly, you’s guys should git this dude season tickets!

Mailing It In: What do you get the mailman who has delivered everything over a thirty five year career? How’s about a dream trip to Hawaii. So beloved is Floyd Martin of Marietta Georgia, that the peeps along his delivery route have done just that. They started a GoFundMe page that hit their $5,000 goal, after which it kept on collecting more zeroes on the tail end. And then Delta Airlines decided they wanted to crash this postal party, offering Mr Martin a free ride. Hey Newman, eat your heart out! Muchas gracias to Frank at A Frank Angle for this special delivery.

Net Results: It’s WELL past time the MLB gets its shit straight as far as protective netting along the baselines is concerned. On Wednesday night, a young girl was struck in the head by a foul ball off the bat of Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. The scene was heart wrenching as Almora dropped to the ground in tears after seeing what had happened. The little girl is going to be fine, and outside of her parents and relatives, there is no one more relieved than Almora. But this didn’t have to happen. The MLB has to get uniform with its protective netting, rather than letting each stadium dictate the parameters. These geniuses who can monetize every facet of the game can most certainly find a way to wrap the baselines in netting while keeping the players accessible to the fans at the same time. Make it happen, Rob Manfred.

Regular Local Joe Zero: The dude in front of me at the grocery store who forgot eggs, after he had his shit on the conveyor . . . and told the cashier to hold up . . . so he could go to the other side of the store to grab them. She politely declined, telling him she would finish it up, bag his things and suspend his order until he returned. He looked at her as if this technology had just been invented yesterday. In my next life, I want to be that blissfully stupid.

Just when you think you’ve heard it all: A teacher at The Chapel School- a private school in Westchester County, New York- was fired after holding a mock slave auction with her fifth grade social studies class. She chose her black students to act as the slaves and dressed them in imaginary chains. Just . . . wow.

Miles to go before they sleep: On the flip side of that kind of forgettable, Imma dish up a story about two fellas who plan on cruising through forty eight states in nineteen days in a Corvette. And no, this isn’t a reboot on the Clark Griswold franchise. It’s Mike Straub and his son, Adam. And they’re laying down serious tread marks from coast to coast as they raise money for Autism Action Partnership; an organization that provides services for people on the spectrum. Because that . . is how they roll.

Rest in Peace, Officer Eli: 

Officer Eli

Those who serve come in all shapes, sizes and breeds. And a Gwinnett County Police K9 Officer by the name of Eli served his community with a quiet diligence for the past eight years. Eli joined the force at the age of one and was the partner of Officer Matthew Bonanno. The two were chasing a suspect recently when the German Shepherd began showing signs of distress. Bonanno rushed him to a veterinary clinic where Eli passed away a short time later. County authorities led a procession from the Gwinnett County Police Training Center to Oak Rest Pet Cemetery in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where he was laid to rest.

When we remember all the brave men and women who put on a uniform every day and especially those who make the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, let’s make a point not to forget man’s best friend.

Heroes Of The Week!

Wonder Woman

When traffic is a righteous jam- My Regular Joe and Jane Heroes of the Week award goes to . . the couple who stopped their car on the shoulder of the highway the other day and proceeded to escort a family of geese to safety. I rode up on the congestion with a laundry list of four lettered questions but was quieted . . . most righteously.

Kick up the leaves, and the Magic is lost- I dig Magic Johnson but I ain’t digging his walking back his role in the Lakers debacle. He insists he never promised to put aside his other business interests when he took a job that demands round the clock commitment. But he did promise to do just that, back in 2017. He won’t apologize for not reaching out to anyone before stepping down, which is weak. He thinks he can deny anything just because he’s Magic, and he’s probably right. Doesn’t mean I gotta like it.

Say “Squeeze!”- Sisters Hannah and Hailey Hager have taken it upon themselves to make lemonade out of lunch debt. They need lots of lemons for the $3,100 their elementary school classmates owe, but they got this. They’re spending their spring squeezing out that debt, and they even have a FB page. Go girls!

Future Headline Number 1- “Trump Library to house largest collection of porn in the world”

How ya like me now?- Jose Simms will never be confused with John Dillinger. The 29 year old Connecticut man is wanted on seven warrants, so he promised to turn himself in if his “Wanted” pic received 15,000 likes on Facebook. He hasn’t shown in spite of passing 25,000 likes, but it’s only a matter of time when your negotiating ploy is to have as many people as humanly possible get a good look at your mug.

Heart of the matter- One minute Brennan Connell was pitching for his Olathe West High School team, and the next he was having a heart attack. And while the thought of a 16 year old having a heart attack is impossible to wrap your head around, more than 7,000 children experience cardiac arrest every year. The fact that he’s alive to tell his story is entirely the result of some quick thinking fans who performed CPR and grabbed an AED to keep his heart beating. Now THAT is a box score worth chattering about.

A wonderful day in the neighborhood- Governor Tom Wolf declared yesterday “143 Day” in Pennsylvania. He picked the 143rd day of the year to celebrate the late Fred Rogers, who would often use the code number 143 to say I love you to viewers of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. It will heretofore become a day for spreading kindness. Fat chance it goes national, but ya gotta start somewhere.

Future Headline Number 2- “Baltimore Orioles pitching staff to receive FEMA assistance”

What a drag(on)!- And now Game of Thrones fans know how it feels when the story you love gets rushed to the finish line. Because now we have the 2019 model for Godfather III. So Imma dish up some advice to GOT fans. If you re-watch the series, keep it to six seasons. Seven and eight are dead to you now. There aren’t gonna be any re-writes so quit your crying and move on. And . . you’re welcome.

The winds of war on a loop- The Pentagon is at it again. They pushed a plan yesterday that would send 10,000 more troops to the Middle East. They insist they’re not trying to provoke Iran. I guess they’re just looking to keep ’em company.

Future Headline Number 3- “Denny’s introduces new dessert, ‘Impeachment Pie'”

A hole lot of tax payer money- Donald Trump came up with another way to ‘borrow’ our hard earned green, thanks to his 175 golf outings to the tune of $100 million Palmers, and counting. The kicker is that all but one of these trips were to a Trump owned golf course. The double dipper in chief sure knows how to . . . wait for it . . drive us up a wall.

Ticket to ride- Rajai Davis’s career reads of a baseball nomad, with eight major league stops over a thirteen year career. The thirty eight year old spent Wednesday night living his ninth life as a brand new member of the New York Mets, thanks to an Uber driver named Jason. Davis got a call on Wednesday evening informing him he’d been signed by the Mets. So he hopped an Uber from Allentown Pa and was delivered to Citi Field in Queens, New York three hours later. Davis put a W.P. Kinsella blue ribbon on his journey by smashing a three run homer in a Mets win a couple hours later. Welcome back, kid.

Heroes Of The Week!

Super Man

Imma try something new this week with my Heroes entry by giving y’all briefs on my heroes and zeros rather than prattling on. I got the idea after reading an article which claimed that readers tend to lose interest if they have to read more than a few paragraphs on a given topic. I forget what the rest of the article said, but I was duly inspired to exercise brevity. I’m sure there will be instances where I will prattle on. Take this explanation, for instance . . .

Mother Nature- The balls on this chick. There was snow in New England this week. Not the movie set Styrofoam shit either. As Lou Gramm opined, head games . . I can’t take it anymore!

Favorite headline from the Globe, or The National Examiner- “It’s not Harry’s Baby!”. Personally, I would have gone with Royal Flush! or Check Mated! But whatevs.

Wise beyond her years- I’ve been a critic of Team Process in Philadelphia, because I think any professional organization that soaks its fans for half a decade and then dresses it up in analytics should be brought up on charges. But the Sixers are fun, and Joel Embiid crying on the court after losing to Toronto touched me, okay?

Leave it to a nine year old Sixers fan named Olivia to sum things up best of all.

Readers ain’t writers (Spoiler Alert)- Palenty of Game of Thrones fans went carazy over how last week’s episode went down, so lemme simplify for the simpletons. Jaime proved you never outrun your past. Dany predicted how this was going to go down ages ago. And all those innocents? Picked the wrong kingdom to buy a house in. War ain’t tidy, kingdoms are won on equal parts guile and brutality and if you want a happy ending, go to Friendly’s. That is all.

A long time coming- Pete Sabedra waited a long time to earn his high school diploma. More than seventy years, in fact. When Pete was in the eighth grade, he had to drop out of high school to support his family. After serving in WW2, he received his GED.

Fast forward to now, where the 92 year old Sabedra was presented with a diploma during the awards ceremony in which his grandson Kace received his diploma. He was named an honorary member of the class of 2019. The moral is, it’s never too late.

Favorite headline from the the National Examiner, or The Globe-
“Betty White’s Wild Life!- Cocktails, Close Friends and Hot Dogs” My God, what a hedonist she was!

When jokes go South(west)- During an hours long maintenance delay on a recent Southwest flight, a passenger’s innocent joke got serious. Quickly. As attendants were handing out water, a passenger remarked “They should be handing out vodka, we’ve been waiting so long,”. Rather than let the joke die a cornhole death, an attendant shot back at the passenger and then informed authorities of an unruly passenger.

The plane did a u-turn and the passenger was removed from the flight, to the protests of all the passengers who had witnessed the exchange. Hopefully, this attendant will visit the website peoplewhoareeasilyoffendedbythestupidestshit.com.

Uncommon strength- Journalist Jayson Greene has written a book Once More We Saw Stars. It’s a memoir which details the anguish of losing a child. Greene and his wife Stacy lost their two year old daughter Greta in 2015 when a brick fell from an eighth story windowsill and struck her in the head. She died the next day.

Greene’s book is filled with painful, sobering images. But it also speaks to the crumbling infrastructure of New York City, and the desperate need for action so that this does not happen to someone else. It always amazes me to find people like this, who contribute to humanity in the face of unspeakable loss. God bless them.

Boycott Alabama- Of course, I ain’t ever visiting the place to begin with. And I don’t know too many folks who are. But it’s time to strike back at legislators who recently signed an abortion bill into law that truly belongs in the dark ages. Shameful.

Favorite headline of the week from the New York Post- “Here Cons The Bride”- ‘Husband’ sues car heiress for faking their wedding

All heroism is local- One minute Duana Owens was sitting outside a Wells Fargo branch minding his own business, and the next he’s getting a Sorryless mention.

Owens watched a man enter and then rapidly exit the bank, brandishing a hatchet on the flip side no less. Undeterred, Owens sprang into action. He ordered the culprit to lower his weapon and to get on the ground. After a few tense moments, he did as Owens had instructed. “(Police) said they really couldn’t find too many citizens like me,” Owens said proudly. No kidding.

Welp, that’s a wrap for this week. Apologies to those who never made it out of the green room, like . . . NYC Mayor DiBlasio turned Presidential candidate #714, the troll who wished cancer on talk show host James Corden’s kid and as always . . Chancellor Trump.

Heroes Of The Week

You say Twitter, I say Twatter- This garden variety weed of social media is Darwin’s gift to the technological world. And this week’s “Dumb Shit People Say On Twitter” award goes to . . .

Those imbeciles who trashed Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s beau, referring to him as a ‘bin raccoon’. One of the Twitterati exclaimed in mock horror, “THIS is what AOC’s boyfriend looks like?” . . . After which, I have to think their kindergarten teacher took away their phones.

Riley Roberts and AOC keep things pretty quiet and chill for a reason, this one. But the web developer loves his girl, is fiercely supportive of her and is loved by her mama. So apologies to all those twits who trashed his look for my blatantly mean response but . . .

Who gives a blessed fuck what you think?

And now for a Frank Angle on a few of the week’s heroes. Cincy, from AFrankAngle hit me with a double mint of good stuff this past week. Here then, his twin bill . . .

Back to the Future- Nineteen years ago, DerMarr Johnson’s future was so bright he was investing in Ray Bans and sunscreen. His was the mad game skill set that perched itself inside the NCAA’s “One and Done” system whereby high school stars use college as a revolving door in order to hone their games and get some much needed national recognition. A spring board for the starry studs, with the emphasis on court work over school work.

Johnson attended the University of Cincinnati for his requisite cup of coffee, leading the Bearcats to a 29-3 record before being upset in the second round of the NCAA tournament by Tulsa. It was a blip for the kid whose game was going places, as proven by his being selected sixth overall in the NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks. It was all right there for Johnson; NBA stardom and generational money that would keep him in Ray Bans forever.

And then his first two seasons didn’t produce the takeoff many scouts had predicted. And then he was involved in a car accident that almost left him paralyzed, and then forever started getting lost. Johnson did play again, but most of his service time was spent on the fringes- some spot duty on various NBA teams followed by playing overseas and in developmental leagues.

Johnson never found his star, but this past week all that adversity felt a million light years away when the thirty eight year old earned a degree from UC. He wants to coach, and in order to do so, he needed a degree. So he went back to the classroom, for real. And now he’s got a bead on taking the court once again. Different seat, but it still counts for lots.

“Life is short. My life was almost taken my second year in the NBA. You don’t take anything for granted. You take advantage of all your opportunities,’’

I take back what I said about Johnson not finding his star. He’s simply chasing a different one now.

Running Down A Dream- Shaquem Griffin was born with amniotic band syndrome. The condition occurs when amniotic bands constrict the flow of blood to digits, arms and legs and impair their development. Griffin’s left hand was compromised during childbirth, leaving him in excruciating pain as a toddler. His parents made the heart wrenching decision to amputate his left hand after finding him in the kitchen attempting to cut it off himself.

It never stopped Griffin from visiting all those places in his childhood dreams. He starred in track, baseball and football in high school. He played alongside his brother Shaquill at the University of Central Florida. Among his many achievements, Griffin was named the defensive player of the year for his league in 2016; and in 2018 he scored MVP honors at the Peach Bowl, capping an undefeated season for UCF. In April of 2018, he was selected in the fifth round by the Seattle Seahawks, where he would play alongside his brother once again.

Griffin never forgot where his dreams came from, and so when he heard the story of ten year old Izzy Turkington, he sprang to action. Turkington was born with quad congenital limb differences. He was fitted with prosthetic devices for his legs as an infant. In conjunction with the Challenged Athlete Foundation, Griffin fitted Izzy- who plays several sports himself- with prosthetic runners.

Because Griffin understands as well as anyone that disabilities are not roadblocks to success, they’re simply the challenges you overcome to get there.

The Days of Whine and Poses- The NBA has become a league of girly men. Players are knighted by shoe contracts rather than their achievements on the court. Ya got Kyrie Irving wanting to be Batman when he’s a Robin. The Rockets ‘auditing’ referees calls and deciding they should have won last year’s playoff series against Golden State, which is shamefully weak. There’s Joel Embiid, who has more maladies than a hypochondriac proof reader for WebMD.

It’s quite obvious Michael Jordan has nothing to worry about.

As for the final entry for this weeks Heroes post, it goes to a place I’ve visited too many damned times.

Eighteen year old Kendrick Castillo was all set to graduate from STEM School Highlands Ranch next week. His interests included Computer Information Technology and he wanted to study electrical engineering in college. He was looking forward to this weekend, when he would compete in a “Rods and Robots” event at the school.

Kendrick had done such a great job interning at a manufacturing company that they gave him a part time gig. Post-graduation, he had several internships lined up, because companies wanted in on his smarts. With each passing day, his tomorrows were becoming more limitless.

And then someone walked into Castillo’s classroom with a gun on Tuesday and then the kid lunged at the shooter, saving his classmates by taking a bullet. And then all those tomorrows became the latest theft in a long and hopeless wound of school shootings.

Just like that, gone was the idea of everything. Replaced with stories that will never be told, memories that will never be made, and a life that comes to an end just as it was busy getting started.

His father is left to wish that his son would have run and hid, but he admits that wasn’t his way. Kendrick wasn’t the type to back down, he wasn’t afraid of the world he had grown up inside of. A world where kids go to school and never come home. A world where days like Tuesday have achieved a sick normalcy.

A world gone mad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroes Of The Week!

In the news this week, AG William Barr says his leaps are sealed. Facebook promises that its lips are sealed as far as our privacy is concerned, maybe. And if you haven’t seen Endgame yet? My lips are sealed . . since I haven’t seen it either.

Commander In Tweets: There would seem to be a lot of business to attend to as President. You got your daily briefings full of imminent attacks on US soil. You have to sign off on legislation that affects hundreds of millions of lives. And even your burner cell phone number has been compromised by your party rivals.

Of course, President Taj doesn’t have to worry about these things. He doesn’t read briefings, after all. And any legislation only affects him. And hey . . attacks on US soil will be a thing of the past once that wall is finished.

So with all that time on his hands, Trump can tweet. Lots. Which is what he did the other day when it was announced that Joe Biden had received the endorsement of the International Association of Fire Fighters- a 300 hundred thousand member union. In less than an hour, Trump retweeted more than sixty tweets from firefighters who pledged their support to Trump. No word on whether Trump’s firefighter fans were legitimate replies or more fake views.

I checked out the billing for Woodstock 50 and the first name I landed on was Miley Cyrus. So needless to say . . the original has nothing to worry about. 

A Matter of Love: Kevin Love sharing his thoughts on depression recently didn’t get much play. Because he wasn’t changing teams or flipping bats or birds or small children. But rest assured the Cavaliers forward is authoring a pretty important story.

Love talked about his life with depression recently, admitting how anxiety has a stranglehold on him at times. Here’s a hulking physical specimen confessing that he once thought he was going to die during a game. Because that is how depression works. No one is safe from its clutches, no matter the size, strength or bank account. We need more dudes like Love and DeMar DeRozan who are willing to share their struggles inside the macho culture of big time sports.

Hey Kevin? We love you.

I wonder how professor Urban Meyer’s “Leadership and Character” class is going at Ohio State? I bet the section involving those thirty one player arrests during his six years as head coach of the Florida Gators are worth the price of enrollment . . .

They don’t call it “The Shield for nothing: The NFL will never be confused with a league that gives a shit about people. Here is a league that paid experts to refute the link between football and CTE, in spite of the mountains of evidence that exists. This is a a league that is more comfortable with a scumbag like Tyreek Hill in its fraternity than a gay player.

Hill is a serial physical abuser whose uniform should be orange, but hey . . he can run and catch so that counts for much more with the Kansas City Chiefs. You may remember they were the team who drafted Kareem Hunt- who was suspended and then released after videotape showed Hunt assaulting a young woman in a club.

In an audio recording that was making the rounds this week, Hill was heard talking to his baby mama about how his three year old son suffered a broken arm. Which may or may not have been the result of Hill beating on him. And when his fiancee told Hill the boy was terrified of him, he replied chillingly, “you should be terrified of me too, bitch,”

Tyreek Hill should never, ever play another down in the NFL. Maybe Roger Goodell should grow a pair by taking action. Now. The next time a team like the Chiefs takes a chance on a player with Hill’s rap sheet, take away all their picks for one NFL draft. Half a dozen chances, and he should be out. But he’s more than welcome to go ply another trade. His resume is super impressive considering he went to three colleges! Of course, he never stayed in any of them very long seeing as how he couldn’t keep his hands off a woman.

Maybe one of his five minute alma maters can hire him to clean toilets.

I feel like this asshole in a Dodgers uniform is a perfect representation of America’s current state. I just do . . .

Nanook to the rescue: Twenty one year old Amelia Milling is an adventure junkie who gets her fix through traveling. The twenty one year old college student from Tennessee is deaf, but that didn’t slow her roll one bit when she decided to tackle Crow Pass Trail in Alaska. By herself.

The dream hike turned nightmarish when her hiking poles snapped and Milling found herself hurtling down the side of a snow covered mountain. She fell more than three hundred feet before crashing into a boulder; the impact of the crash catapulted her another three hundred feet, leaving her bloodied and dazed.

Enter Nanook, a seven year old husky who knows his way around rough terrain. Amelia initially thought Nanook was a wolf, but then spotted a silver, bone shaped tag around his collar that read “Crow Pass Guide” and included his owner’s address.

The husky led her back to the trail and then stood guard outside her tent that night. The next day, he saved Amelia from the icy waters of the Eagle River crossing. The ordeal took fifteen minutes but Nanook was finally able to pull Amelia from the river, after which she pushed the SOS button on her Spot Device. When state troopers found her several hours later, she was wrapped in a sleeping bag with her hero curled up beside her.

Nanook

 

“Nookie”, as he is called by his owner, was named an honorary Alaska State Trooper for his actions. Turns out, he loves to travel every bit as much as his new pal Amelia, so he has now been fitted with a GPS beacon on his collar.

Eat your heart out, Superman.