Heroes Of The Week! (NFL Draft Edition)

Be forewarned, this edition of Heroes is different. It begins with a couple odd ball political stories, after which I’ve tucked my NFL draft notes into a block quoted sandwich; for those readers who consider sports to be a deep fried nada tostada. Although you non-sports fans might wanna check out the YouTube spill I included. It’s good stuff.

Alas, no happy ending this week, because sometimes that’s just how it goes.

Cell block the vote!: Bernie Sanders set off a shit storm the other night when he said that all prisoners should have the right to vote. Even terrible people, like murderers, rapists and yes . . the Boston Marathon Bomber. And I cringed when I read this, because Dzhokhar Tsarnaev killed three people and injured two hundred and sixty four others. And then he shot and killed an MIT police officer and stole his gun.

And making certain that no dubious idea goes unpublished, his Democratic counterpart Alexandra Ocasio Cortez doubled down by supporting the idea of allowing prisoners the right to vote.

And I have to think, maybe they didn’t get the memo that 2020 is a fairly important election. For their still fractured party, sure. But even more important than that, for the entire country. And call me silly, but this idea of theirs ain’t gonna play well in most of the other forty eight not named Vermont or Maine.

We are getting closer and closer to an eight year Trump run, because to paraphrase an old baseball adage. You can’t win an election in the early going, but you can lose one.

Stay in school, kids: Lara Trump studied at NC State, after which she attended the French Culinary Institute. But maybe she should’ve stayed in school and yanno . . enrolled in a couple history classes. Because Lara had some things to say about Germany’s dark past. But no . . not that dark past.

According to Lara, the downfall of Germany came when they admitted more than a million Middle Eastern refugees into the country in 2015.  The comment provided no context as to why these people were migrating to Europe; which had to do with conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Immigration isn’t a one size fits all policy. Lots of shit happens in between the influx and the debate. Using Merkel’s decision as Trump’s template is a false equivalent. Lara also didn’t mention the right wing nationalism that has sprouted up since the refugee crisis in 2015; and that’s a pretty big miss considering Germany’s dark past. Yes . . that dark past.

Saving Easter: Martha Isbell was on her way to Mass on Sunday when her car tire popped. It isn’t known whether Isbell owns a AAA card and it doesn’t much matter, because a former student of hers spotted her pulling off the road and pulled over to assist.

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard may not have been Isbell’s prize pupil in her biology class, but he held a special place in her heart just the same. The self professed class clown was all business on Sunday morning; fixing her tire and saving Isbell’s father- who is battling stage four cancer- the trip out to assist his daughter. And she made it to Easter Mass on time.

So I guess the question is, can you give out an A plus retroactively?

The NFL Draft is the biggest, richest, funkiest job fair in the world. And the best part of it all? Everybody is an ‘expert’ . . in guess work.

The Arizona Cardinals ain’t ever won a Super Bowl, and they keep showing us why. They made history (the wrong kind) by taking a quarterback in the first round for the second year in a row. Maybe this works, but even if it does, they’re still no closer to winning a Super Bowl. As far as the league’s biggest punchline goes, the Cleveland Browns are off the clock.

The Baltimore Ravens win the weekend: Well, where it matters most. See, they invited 13 year old Mo Gaba to announce their fourth round choice. Gaba, who has been blind since he was nine months old, will read the pick in braille. Last month, it was learned that his cancer has returned for the fourth time. Lord knows he’s already faced one too many hard roads, so bravo to the Ravens for giving him the red carpet treatment.

I am in deep love with the Miami Dolphins pick of Christian Wilkins. The dude brings everything my team needs- big talent, big attitude and he can break out the James Brown and do THIS! I think they got this one right.

Hey . . remember how I walked back my Jon Gruden smack talk a few weeks ago? Well, I was right the first time. Gruden is more overrated than Trump’s hands.

The Pittsburgh Steelers did good. How do I know? Because unlike the Cardinals and Jon Gruden, they’re a perennial contender in large part because of the work they do this time of year.

The New York Giants ain’t gonna win another Super Bowl for a long, long . . long time. Book it.

I rarely get too serious with my heroes edition, but I couldn’t ignore the execution of John William King on Wednesday evening in Huntsfield, Texas. King- an avowed white supremacist- was one of three white men convicted in the torture and death of James Byrd in 1998. The Jasper, Texas murder made national headlines for its shocking brutality. Byrd, a black man, was offered a ride home by the men who then proceeded to beat him before chaining him to the back of a pickup truck. Byrd was dragged for miles while still alive before being decapitated.

Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed in 2011 and Shawn Allen Berry is not up for parole until 2038.

King never once expressed remorse for the horrendous crime, instead taking great pride in what he referred to as “making history”. He also tried to incite a race war while in prison. And so when he was injected with a lethal dose of pentobarbital at 6:56 p.m. on Wednesday evening and succumbed to the injection twelve minutes later, the world lost an evil person. And hell gained one.

James Byrd Jr. would have turned seventy years old next week. In the nearly twenty one years that have passed since his murder, the matter of race and race relations has grown increasingly more complicated. Jasper, Texas remains a town very much divided. You need look no further than Byrd’s final resting place, which was fitted with iron bars after having been desecrated.

So when Presidential candidates start railing on about how felons deserve the vote and a President advances policies threatening to those who don’t ‘look’ like us . . I can’t help thinking about what a disservice it all is to James Byrd Jr.

The man can’t even rest in peace. Because racism doesn’t take a day off. It just keeps punching the clock and showing up for work. Any let up, and we lose another day to its insidious creep. It’s a constant reminder that sometimes, you don’t get the feel good story to wrap things up.

Sometimes the happy ending is impossible to come by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroes Of The Week!

This week’s Heroes entry is slightly more hushed than previous episodes. Maybe it’s the season, I don’t know. I was tossing with doing an abbreviated version but then the stories took the wheel and before I knew it . . I had myself a traditional five spot. And so it is . . .

Like Father, Like Son: When Aric Tegtmeier took the stage today at his graduation ceremony, it was the culmination of a lifelong dream. For him, and for his father too. Aric officially entered the brotherhood of the FDNY at the age of twenty four. He will be assigned to the West Farms section of the Bronx, a short distance from Ladder 46 where his father served. Paul Tegtmeier was thirty nine years old when he joined the department- just under the age cutoff for new hires.

Paul was forty one when his company was called to the World Trade Center in 2001. He was one of 343 FDNY first responders who answered the call, and never came home. Aric was six when his father was lost and he says his dream of wanting to follow in his footsteps only grew stronger after  September 11th.

Now Aric will take the place of his old man, almost eighteen years removed from the day when his life and the lives of so many were changed forever. When all those bumper sticker proclamations of never forgetting began getting lost in the rear view, there were plenty of sons and daughters just like him who were abiding. They never forgot the one true thing, and they never will.

Mueller Report, Schmueller Report: Much ado about bupkis, and I’m not surprised. Seeing as how the report contained more redactions than an Applebee’s menu, what were we supposed to gain from this? Will the calls for a ‘free range’ report ever be taken seriously? Or will our children’s children have to wait to find out the what’s what on Trump and his bed mates?

Oh, and having Attorney General James Barr dish up sonnets in the lead up to the release of the report is some extra crispy bullshit right there. But once again, it’s a matter of being told our eyes and ears are deceiving us. That we are the ones in the wrong if we don’t go along with the party line.

Columbus Day!: I do understand that to celebrate the Columbus Blue Jackets‘ victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning is mostly counterproductive. Both teams are more of the same as per the expansion era Americanization of a Canadian sport. But . . . at least Ohio gets four seasons. That’s a rule of mine. If the city gets snow, it can get hockey. Florida should stick to trying to get football right, because it’s doing a shit job of it right now.

A Disney Cruz: Remember how Ted Cruz was supposed to take the reins from the crumbling GOP after Trump laid waste to the other front runners during the primaries? And remember how that never happened? You know why?

Because Ted Cruz is a schmuck.

I guess old Ted was sick and tired of having been rendered a Trivial Pursuit question. And really, in today’s politics? Making the news is all that really counts, so mission accomplished. Cruz decided to throw some shade at Disney after the company announced it was donating $5 million dollars to help rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral. Proving that no good deed goes unpunished, Cruz sent out a tweet that would’ve had Mickey throwing down both middle fingers.

“Wonderful! Will we see Disney princesses in the new stained glass?

Of course, Ted would have had to read up on the fire which ravaged this sacred cathedral in order to learn that the stained glass windows were saved. But hey . . why do your homework when making machine gun bacon gets you elected?

It’s a good thing we carry with us the hope that the good days will outweigh the bad ones, and that loss will be served with rebirth. When the horrible truths of the world bring us to our knees, it’s important to have faith in something . . in someone.

Father Jean-Marc Fournier is the chaplain of the Paris Fire Brigade. As fire laid waste to the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral, Fournier insisted on re-entering the structure in an attempt to retrieve some of the priceless artifacts housed within.

He was joined by a group of rescue workers who formed a human chain in order to save the Crown of Thorns- believed to have been worn by Jesus during the crucifixion- and the tunic of Saint Louis which was worn by King Louis IV when he brought the crown to Paris.

Fournier has a resume of doing this kind of thing. He served as a military chaplain in Afghanistan before joining the Fire Brigade. In the aftermath of the 2015 Bataclan terrorist attacks, he helped to evacuate the victims. He also gave absolution to those lost in the attacks.

Holy Week always feels quiet to me, but never more so than after this trying week. That hush of appreciation for the mysteries that might hold answers, it speaks to me this time of year. And I do hold to the idea that all is never lost.

Only misplaced.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ashes To Ashes

FRANCE-FIRE-NOTRE DAME

Robert Louis Stevenson once said that mankind is never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral.

And so it was that in 1163, more than a hundred and fifty years before the world would come into full bloom with the dawn of the Renaissance, hope was risen with the first bricks of a timeless symbol that would come to define a city, a nation and the world it would grow up inside of.

The name possessed a gravitas and evoked reverence the world over. It was a symbol which transcended religion. The underpinnings of this wondrous creation of man was a muse to pilgrims and painters and poets and the dreams they had in common.

Deep within the womb of this timeless place, history was birthed countless times. Henry VI was made King of France here, and later, Napoleon was named Emperor inside its confines. And in the early 20th century, Joan of Arc was beatified inside the cathedral by Pope Pius X.

Our Lady of Paris survived the French Revolution as well as two World Wars. And when its health was failing in the nineteenth century, Victor Hugo’s book “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” helped usher in a revitalization effort. The medieval spire, which had been removed a century earlier, was rebuilt.

The significance of that spire is testimony to the efforts of a group of people who ventured back inside as the fire was laying waste to the roof of the cathedral. A group of public servants and firemen formed a human chain and retrieved several priceless artifacts, including the Crown of Thorns- believed to have been worn by Jesus on the cross- and the Blessed Sacrament. The roof, constructed from 5,000 oak trees by more than a thousand men, could not be saved.

It was sometime around 8 p.m. when the spire was taken from the world in a heap of ash. A symbol of hope and faith, stolen away by the flames forever. And as the sun set on the city, our Lady of Paris said goodbye to the world.

And Jesus wept.

Heroes Of The Week!

Heroes April 5

Girl Power Gone Wild!- Alright, I didn’t see Captain Marvel and I ain’t planning on it. But I still think it’s pretty cool shit that Anna Boden became the first female to direct a live action film that grossed 1 billion dollars worldwide. This, coming on the heels of an $820 million dollar haul for Wonder Woman just goes to show that the girls ain’t interested in being window dressing in the superhero universe. These straight cash home girls are leading the way.

Say it ain’t so Joe: A second woman has come forward with damaging allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden, and to borrow from the immortal Yogi Berra . . it’s getting late early. I ain’t gonna say much just yet, as the details keep trickling out. But needless to say, this mucks up the murky waters of the 2020 Presidential race even more.

Standing in for the Oakland Raidahs this week . . the Arizona Cardinals- Last week I trashed the Raiders and their field boss Gruden as hopeless gypsies without a clue. And then I read a piece by football writer Peter King in which Gruden was very critical of himself for trading his best player last year. His big return on that trade was hailed in some corners- not mine. But the bottom line is, the Raiders weren’t gonna pay up, so Gruden swung a deal. All things considered, he done good. Even if he will probably never draft a player like the one- Mack- that he traded away. And even if I do not agree with bringing in Antonio Brown- a diva who killed the Steelers clubhouse and who is on the wrong side of thirty. And even if I detest the signing of Vontaze Burfict, who is a thug. But . . . maybe I was wrong about Gruden . . I hope so. Time will tell.

That said, the Cardinals take the reins from Gruden’s Raiders for being so transparent as to how they plan on drafting a quarterback with the first pick in this year’s draft- a year after drafting a quarterback with their first pick just last year. Thereby giving themselves zero negotiating leverage. Thereby continuing the tradition of being a dumpster fire of an organization. The Cardinals score a zero, for pilfering the money of their long suffering fans and giving them dog food in return.

Fox News did a thing. Again . . .

Holly’s Healthy Bank Account- The city of Baltimore isn’t an easy gig for any Mayor. You’ve got a police force that went on record as mailing it in. You’ve got a crisis in the inner city that requires daily mediation in an attempt to cultivate a better future . . or a future at all.

Which makes Mayor Catherine Pugh‘s back room deal with Kaiser Permanente even more repugnant. In 2017, the healthcare behemoth scored a contract to provide coverage for city employees. Two years earlier, Kaiser had paid Pugh $114,000 dollars for 20,000 copies of her book “Healthy Holly”. Pugh was a member of the city’s spending panel at the time.

The Baltimore Sun pieced it all together and recently came forward with the smoking gun. Pugh is currently on leave with pneumonia. Meanwhile, the city burns. Large swaths of previously blue collar working class neighborhoods have fallen into severe poverty levels. For most inhabitants, a college education is a pipe dream. Crime is way up and employment is booming, if you deal drugs. And even the drug dealers are simply getting by in order to make ends meet. Not to mention, the city’s population has dipped below pre-World War I levels.

Pugh’s failure to serve the best interests of her constituency should result in a doctor’s note to take a permanent leave of absence.

How ‘swagger’ got murdered- The term is so miserably overused in sports, and incorrectly at that. Swagger is one of those plug and go snack words that bastardizes an original concept whilst masquerading as propers. It’s meant to convey epic confidence, but the recipients are usually the lousiest of the lousy. Dudes like Antonio Brown, who savaged people’s reputations in order to get his way. And Jalen Ramsey, who talks like a champ but couldn’t lead his team out of last place.

Manny Machado and Conor McGregor are synonymous with the term swagger, according to sports commentators who’d rather chum up than do their jobs. But the truth is, Machado is one of the dirtiest players in the MLB, and a bum. McGregor is a washed up hoodlum who should just rent space in a jail cell. Recently, he tweeted an ethnic slur about his rival’s wife. Next week it’ll be something else.

Memo to sports peeps. If you want to know what swagger looks like? Watch an old Clint Eastwood flick and shaddup.

A gal walks in a shoe store . . .- Addy Tritt got herself a deal on shoes, and before you think I’m dredging up a cliched Carrie Bradshaw joke . . . read on.

The twenty five year old master’s program graduate at Fort Hays University knows how to wheel and deal for heels like nobody’s business. When she got word that Payless Shoesource would be closing all its stores, she got to stepping. She toed the line of an expert liquidation shopper by going light on the cash and hard on the savvy.

The score? 204 pairs of shoes with a retail value of more than $6,000 hush puppies. For $100 dollars. 

Here’s the thing. She doesn’t have a master closet or a storage unit, and she won’t need one. Most of the shoes she purchased are for children, and no . . she doesn’t have kids. See, Tritt wasn’t playing for keeps when she went on her shopping spree. She donated all the shoes to the Nebraska flood victims. Because that’s what a good deal looks like to her. It’s the kind of bargain that transcends economics. A simple lesson that can be summed up in a single word.

Priceless.

Heroes Of The Week!

Varsity Blues Redux: It’s not a crime to live with a sense of entitlement. So it’s easy to joke away the crimes that were actually committed in the admissions scandal. This whole episode will devolve into a series of Aunt Becky memes rehashed by late night comics. And really, we just hope William H. Macy’s career doesn’t take a hit as a result.

Privilege will win the day though. Again.

Not too long from now, the late night comics and the meme makers will get really pissed off when some rich person gets away with a real crime. They’ll rail on about it and they’ll score big ratings with impassioned dialogue. And they’ll never mind the fact they could’ve used the admissions scandal to broach the topic of a segregationist culture in academia. Because that is kind of a big deal. It’s just too bad the Aunt Becky jokes are an easier sell.

The MLB- Remember that dorky girl you kinda crushed on in junior high school? She had glasses and braces and she possessed a lisp that could’ve sliced through construction paper? And then she came back from summer break and everything was different. The glasses were replaced with contact lenses, and the braces were gone. The lisp was still prevalent, but it’d been painted over with group girl lingo so as to lose all of its charm. Her hair got big, her makeup went thick and her personality became duller than sixth grade Science.

She had become just like all the others.

That’s the kind of makeover baseball has given itself over the past few decades. Old fashioned (two games for one ticket) doubleheaders have gone away. As have World Series games played during the day. And in the most unfortunate example, all those sacred records that used to set baseball apart from every other sport, they no longer matter. Because steroids killed Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays. And these days, OBP, WHIP and WAR is killing the rest of it.

The game has gotten sleeker if not smarter. It’s played with attitude and flat bills, and instant replay. The traditional first game of the season in Cincinnati? That’s old news. Hell, this years Opening Day wasn’t even played in the states. It happened in a joint called the Tokyo Dome over in Japan, at five thirty in the morning. And whatever, because I’ll still watch my Yankees from time to time. And I might even take in a game this year, not sure. I wonder why the suits who run such a beautiful game felt the need to sell its soul. I wonder if they care.

I wonder if they realize they’ve become just like all the others.

Tyler Perry- Lord knows I love making fun of Tyler Perry movies. But as with every rant I write up, I understand full well it’s only an opinion. Mine. Plenty of peeps are eating up these Tyler Perry joints, and hey . . if they want to waste a couple hours of their lives on that nonsense, who am I to harsh their clueless mellow?

Now, if you want me to state a fact as per Tyler Perry? I can most definitely do that as well. I’ll tell you Perry is a righteous, soulful gentleman whose good deeds will last a hell of a lot longer than some two hour movie.

After 45 year old Tynesha Evans was gunned down by her boyfriend, the four children she left behind were faced with an impossible challenge. They had to bury their mother while facing eviction from the apartment they had shared with her. In stepped Perry, who arranged for Evans’ body to be flown to Wisconsin for burial. He then covered the family’s rent as well as the college tuition for Evans’ oldest daughter.

I can’t attach a punchline to this sad story, but props . . oh yes. That.

Trump– The reason he doesn’t score a spot on my zeroes list every week is the same reason LeBron didn’t win the MVP every year when he was in his prime. Because it gets really boring to talk about the guy who deserves it.

This week, Trump outdid even himself. Shit . . I know right? But how else to describe his scathing attack on John McCain? Trump insisted he’s not a fan of McCain, and “never will be”. He claimed McCain was last in his class at the Naval Academy, and that he was to blame for the failed war in the Middle East, and then Trump complained about not even getting a ‘thank you’ from McCain’s family after approving funeral arrangement plans. Because, oh yeah . . McCain has been dead for seven months.

Anyone who defends this insane rant is not an apologist. They’re an accomplice.

They Are Us . . .

With those three words, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Adern provided a touchstone moment for her country and for the world. But words alone will not close the gaping wound left by fifty innocent souls who were murdered in two mosque shootings. Words need hands and feet to steady them, and words need heart and soul to carry them.

Adern is supplying.

She will not speak the shooter’s name in any public forums in an effort to deny the terrorist any publicity whatsoever. She has asked fellow New Zealanders to “speak the names of those who were lost rather than the name of the man who took them,”. Adern has learned the names and the life stories of those fifty souls over the past week, and she has visited the mosques. She has wrapped an entire community in her arms and let them know she stands with them.

Adern will ban every semi-automatic weapon used in the attack. Because words alone won’t change a thing for the better, unless you show the world where those words are coming from and what those words can mean. And all we know for certain is that Christchurch won’t be the last day stolen, and Adern will make enemies for not standing still. And maybe, through this latest darkness we have come to find something we’ve all been searching for.

A leader.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking Of . . .

The great Leonard Cohen once remarked that he felt no urgency as far as his writing was concerned. It was his opinion that mankind would not be damaged if he never put out another record or wrote another book.

Now here was a dude whose works could talk gravity into another million years worth of bubbles. And he’s speaking as if he’s a high school newspaper editor. His point, however, is inviolable. The best part of us, as writers, is the part that can never be taken away.

Speaking of . . .

Urgency, there seems to be a little more of the stuff when it comes to Bryce Harper and the Phillies. And I’m rooting like hell for them to ink the slugger before Brian Cashman sweeps in with a drunken sailor offering that ties the Yankees to a .240 hitter through a third Trump term (Spoiler Alert!). These “Till Meth Do Us Part” unions in sports are onerous for the fans more than anyone. Because in eight years, the fans will be paying Fabulous Bryce Hair prices for Bald Bryce production. Simple as that.

Speaking of . . .

Bald men, the Oscars are tonight. And I’m sorta/kinda excited for the first time in a while. If only because of Queen.

Speaking of . . .

Queens, they’re making a biopic about Elton John. Which is a little strange seeing as how he’s still alive.

Speaking of . . .

Bad jokes (such as the one I just made), Trump and Kim Jong (Pizzeria)-Un will be holding their second summit this week to discuss UN sanctions, nuclear disarmament and Adam Sandler’s curious lack of Oscar hardware.

Speaking of . . .

Oscar, I only saw one Best Picture nominee (Bohemian Rhapsody) and I am only halfway interested in seeing A Star Is Born. I definitely will see Black Klansman when it comes out on video.

Speaking Of . . .

Movies? I tend to gravitate to the flicks that have no blessed chance of winning gold. Take yesterday for example, when I went to see Happy Death Day 2 U. Not as good as the original, but man . . Jessica Rothe is going to win an Oscar for something, some day. And I do not plan on being wrong about that. Girl’s got game.

Speaking of . . .

Game . . I am rocking the Casbah after a two month hiatus from my Fitbit. A week and a half in, and the results are sweetly plucked juiciness. Lost a few pounds already, and am up to three and a half miles. I truly enjoyed my vacation from the the wrist candy, but the reunion is Peaches and Herb righteous.

Speaking of . . .

Righteous deeds, big props to the Ole Miss basketball players for taking a knee during the National Anthem. They knelt together in response to a confederacy rally near their home arena in Oxford, Mississippi. It was the right thing to do.

Speaking of . . .

The right thing, I’m down with Terrance Howard’s support of his former co-star Jussie Smollett. Howard isn’t taking the easy road by staying in Smollett’s corner, but it’s where he started out and it’s what he’s sticking to. Howard isn’t interested in the optics, and that’s commendable in a profession where too many peeps run for higher ground when the shit hits the fan. Come what may, Smollett has a corner man. Emphasis on man.

Speaking of . . .

Yesterday, I was turned onto this cat with the cool threads and the space age folk songs. He’s got a voice that could skate on the icy rings of Saturn and come back hotter than Fortuna’s pocketbook after a Vegas jaunt. His musical roam fits the proverbs of a lazy Sunday afternoon just fine.

And the hat, that’s just bonus round.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Heroes Of The Week

Remember the old Rolling Stone double issues that used to take you a week to read? And longer than that if it was summer and you were perpetually high? Welp, that’s this week’s Heroes installment. You’ll notice I’ve tucked some news squibs in between the Big Five. It’s just me, tinkering.

Now let’s get on with it.

Romaine-tic Comedy- Country music singer Miranda Lambert (Should I stop there? Is that enough of a punchline? No . . you sure? Okay, I’ll continue . . ) is bringing whole new meaning to her salad days. And believe me, I ain’t dressing this up.

Lambert made headlines (again) for all the wrong reasons (again) when she dumped her salad on a woman who was provoking her. The lap dance tantrum happened at a Nashville steakhouse where Lambert was dining with friends and family. And it just makes me sad.

Once upon a time, country music’s preferred method of payment when it came to altercations were baseball bats and whiskey bottles. Now . . it’s lettuce and cherry tomatoes with julienne carrots in a balsamic vinaigrette (speculative editorializing). The legends of country music didn’t even know what the fuck a salad was! The current generation of stars has weaponized it.

Ted Cruz wants to use El Chapo fortune to fund border wall. Because our government has never, ever used blood money before . . .

Ice Cold Stove- Two of the biggest stars in the game- Bryce Harper and Manny Machado- remain unsigned. Pitchers and catchers time has arrived, and these two big ticket items of the hot stove league remain on the shelf. Which says everything about the blah quality of the league. Call it collusion by the owners or call it a deluded MLBPA, but the bottom line is, the game is suffering from an alarming lack of sizzle lately.

Cancel out collusion, because offers have been made and stupid contracts (See the Nationals signing of Corbin) have been inked. As for the player’s union, they’ve got to pipe down on any claims of owner conspiracy, what with the average MLB salary sitting at a cool 4 mil a year. They need to get their shit straight for sure, but worrying about their players getting paid would be the wrong pony to ride. Listen, owners see players like JD Martinez of the Red Sox kicking ass at a fraction of what Harper/Machado were asking for. They want bang over bloat, and I don’t blame them.

But the MLB has got to do something about this hot stove of theirs, which has gotten its ass kicked by the NFL and NBA trading deadlines and signing periods over the last calendar season. Baseball used to own its off-season, but that is no longer the case. Where have you gone Reggie Jackson? . . .

Grammys

The Grammys- Who. Fucking. Cares.

I ain’t got much to say about an awards show I haven’t watched in forever, but what I do have to say isn’t pleasant. And yet . . it’s a hell of a lot more pleasant than what these peeps are dealing. Reading up on the postscripts to the show is akin to checking up on the first grade choir. It’s a bunch of musical talent wrapped in elementary school clothes. They snipe, they curse and they hate on each other with Styrofoam vitriol; which means to say, it’s marshmallow four lettered banter, delivered up by musical brats who couldn’t hold Prince’s luggage.

And this isn’t some old dude pissing on the music of the day, because there’s plenty of new stuff I dig on. And I also happen to believe we should leave Cardi B alone when it comes to that Tom Petty gaffe. Truth be told, there are times when I have to think about which Beatles are left . . and I am guilty of not knowing whether Steven Tyler was dead or alive (He’s alive). Nah, Cardi B is a kid who ain’t down with yesterday’s music, and that’s no crime. But the way her peers trashed her after she won for best rap album is just sad. And proof that I ain’t missing anything by skipping this show.

Kylie Jenner is into condom artTo paraphrase the great Andy Warhol, in the future, everyone will be famous for three and a half minutes . . . 

Sarah Sanders Stars in ‘God Squad’-White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says that God wanted Donald Trump to win in 2016. And a quarter of Fox News poll respondents agree with her. In another Heroes first, I’ve linked to a Fox News poll for shits and giggles. If you insist on sending me hate mail, please forward it here. Rather than doing a post-oped, Imma dish up a semi-fictional rendering of how this might have gone down.

Somewhere in Malibu . . . 

The phone rings. 

“Challo?”

“God, hey . . it’s Lucifer,”

“Hey Lu . . what’s going down?” God chuckles.

“You remember anything about last night?” Lucifer asks.

“Well . . I remember we were playing poker. Moses was bragging about his Red Sea vacation . . Noah was telling fish tales . . and then Lot brought the Patron and we all started doing shots and . . .”

“You went all in when I said you had to elect Trump if you lost your pot,” Lucifer informs him.

“Prove it,” God demands.

His phone chimes to life with a text message containing a video link of him losing the bet with his arch-nemesis.

“Jesus!”

“Yeah Pop?” Jesus says as he moves into the living room to grab his sandals.

“No, not you. Umm, where you going?” God asks.

“Me and Jerry Garcia are gonna work on the van,” Jesus says excitedly.

“What about that job interview you have at Lowes?” God asks.

“That’s manana, and don’t worry . . I’ll pass the drug test this time. Gotta go old man, peace out . ..”

“Lu . . you still there?”

“That kid can’t hold down a job to save his life,” Lucifer says.

“Preaching to the choir, Lu. But hey . . you can’t hold me to this Trump thing,” God says.

“You bet your cloud surfing ass I’m gonna hold you to it,”

“I gotta say, this is low . . even for you,”

“Tuesday, November 8th, Boss. Mark the date,” Lucifer says before hanging up.

If you insist on sending me hate mail for this sacrilegious skit, please forward it here.

Bob Ross Flash Mob- Seriously, that sentence is enough to put a smile on my face. But it gets better. Thanks to middle school art teacher Brady Sloane of Abilene, Texas . . it gets a lot better. Textbook smarts get you in the door, but outside the box thinking opens the doors you never knew existed. And Sloane, supplied. She noticed how her students were stressing over their work load in advanced placement classes and so she organized a cool little activity in which they would all don Bob Ross costumes as they painted.

Sloane used monies from a fundraiser to buy the paints, and then her students helped her make the costumes. And this story is just so damned peach on top of my Heroes cake, that Imma stamp it in place of my usual musical spill.

Zen is what real winning looks like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Gates slams AOC’s 70 percent tax plan? No. Shit.