North vs Mouth

“We are 75 million strong!”

It was the squeal of a Trump supporter, who was fashioned in the clownish ethos of a fat brimmed red hat that has become the new abnormal. He stood outside a federal building spewing words with the bad English of a snub nosed revolver, each participle killing Shakespeare all over again. And while I know his intent was to scare me, us . . . anybody who’s not down with high-jacking the Constitution, I was thoroughly unimpressed. I regard them as parasitical dipping dots with ’70’s haircuts, soulless eyes and a mindset stuck in the turn of the century. The 11th century.

I constructed a profile for the mole rat while considering his facile declaration, and then I came up with a nickname for the treasonous taco lab- Eggs Benedict. He possessed an oversized chassis that was underwritten by restaurants with drive-thru technology, so I figured him to be on four different prescription meds as a result. He was obviously a ladies man who had broken a lot of cousins hearts while working his way through Drivers Ed. A well read gent, he feasted on the classics; from Amazing Spider Man and Captain America to Archie Comics. His favorite quote was probably something like “Wherever I go, I’m home,” and his RV? Proved it.

But really, I didn’t come here today to bury the overgrown sandbag. I simply have a problem with his contention that there are seventy five million Trump Warriors set to do battle if posh gives way to shove it. And while I would love to call him out in real time, I’m sure he would be a tad bemused if I said I had a problem with his math. Especially since he considers math to be the gross smelling stuff his toothless brother cooks up in his double wide.

So Imma dish here on WordPress, with peeps whose IQ’s are well north of the Mason/Dixon, by calling out this 75 million troops claim as fake news. And here’s why . . .

The total number of people who went in a voting booth and came out dumber wasn’t 75 million, it was 74,222,958 votes. That’s more than three quarters of a million voters less than these Trumpists are claiming. Hey, after the way they tried painting a decisive Biden victory into a Chucky Cheese caricature, I’m not giving these ass-hats a single vote more.

So he’s already wrong, but wait . . there’s less!

Of the 74,222,958 Trump voters, a nice chunk of that gain from his 2016 numbers came as the result of the very same non-traditional voting that he was positing as fraudulent- early voting and absentee ballots. More than 100 million people voted this way, the majority of whom voted for Biden.

Say Trump only scored 25 million of those votes, that brings the “75 Million Trump Warriors!” number down under 50 now. Reason being, these peeps couldn’t even make it to the polls. How they gonna fight a civil war?

But wait, you say. By that reasoning, there are 75 million democrats who wouldn’t fight a civil war either. Welp, here’s the difference. Democrats didn’t show up because of the pandemic, so voting off site made sense. Republicans have assured us they don’t give a fuck about the pandemic, which means they were in no shape to get out to vote in the first place. And not for nothing, but most of the democrats who did vote in the non-traditional manner are young. And they’re going to be mighty pissed off if gaming and social media are taken away from them as the result of a civil war. And they’ll recruit their non-voter friends so they can get this shit over with as quickly as possible.

So now we have 49 million Trump warriors and let’s say 30 million of those voters are male, between the ages of thirty and forty-five. I’ll bet you half of that number look like my pal Eggs Benedict. Sorry, but all the firepower in the world ain’t gonna help if you have to schlep it without fuel and the meds to stave off the heart altering effects of said fuel.

We’re down to 35 million Trump warriors now, and maybe 20 million of those voters are women. Take away half of that number, because those are the Trump ladies who believe that a woman’s place is in the home. Or on target.com. Nope.

So we have 25 million Trump warriors left. And eighty percent of that total is going to fold their cards, lest they lose everything they’ve worked for, because that’s what will happen when society goes buh-bye.

5 million Trump warriors would be left standing in this entirely hypothetical scenario. And before they get the chance to yell “Charge!”, our friends from Mexico will be more than happy to throw down with the Trumpists. As will our friends up in Canada, who weren’t quite so kind in their judgements of the last guy in office here in the states. So yeah, they have five million and well . . we have the rest.

So when all is said and done, you’ll have a couple dozen assholes standing outside the White House with signs and bullhorns, trashing Biden and making plans for lunch. If you happen to be walking by and you spot a portly looking fellow in a red hat, could you do me a solid?

Tell Eggs Benedict I said hi.

 

Heroes Of The Week!

 

Why It's Difficult To Find Full Video Of King's Historic Speech : The Two-Way : NPR

Welcome to our first heroes episode of the new year, kids. This patch of grass is still under construction with new this’s and that’s ready to make themselves known throughout the coming year. But the one thing that won’t change is the love that is shown to this here intersection of Friday and the weekend. So it be that I’ve got a little help coming from my friends, as per. Muchas gracias to them, and to you.

As for the above image, not for nothing but, that’s what a big crowd and a real leader look like. In case there was any confusion (much) about such things over the last four years. And while those clueless cretins might’ve stolen a sacred national spot with their despicable act last week? Well, my friend Martin is taking it back.

Now to the lineup . . .

What Giuliani's past tells us about how he may represent Trump - ABC NewsFirst up are the retrograde republicans (no capital letters for capitol seditionists), who perpetrated a terror attack on our nation’s capital on January 6th. From the aiders and abettors in suits- Trump, Giuliani, et al.-  to the mentally deficient warriors who looted a federal building and committed mayhem and murder. The irony is that these mask-less mutts made it that much easier for authorities to finger them by flouting the public safety standards. They should reconsider a civil war, seeing as how strategy isn’t their strong suit.

And now for a double kiss of good feeling brought to you by Dale over at A Dalectable Life.

Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen at Rutgers battles student food insecurity | Food ManagementWe flip the script from the clueless to the community minded with news that the ageless rocker Jon Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea just opened their third community restaurant on the campus of Rutgers University. JBJ Soul Kitchen serves up meals free of charge to those patrons who can’t afford it. For those who can, they’re asked for a $20 donation to cover the cost of their meal.

“Hunger doesn’t look like what your mind’s eye might imagine,” Dorothea says. “It’s the people at your church. It’s the kids that go to school with your kids. And I think that was eye-opening for a lot of the community here that said, ‘Oh, there’s no homeless people here.’”

This garden to table eatery has served up more than 100,000 meals so far and they say they’ll keep the hits coming as long as there is a need. Rock on, good man. Rock on.

Theresa Kachindamoto is a Real-Life Black Queen, A True Leader - Hollywood InsiderTheresa Kachindamoto is the kind of leader you don’t hear much about. And it’s because she’s making a profoundly impactful difference on the lives of the young women of Malawi. In a country with one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, Kachindamoto is fighting back. To date, she has annulled more than 3,000 marriages.

In her district of Dedza, where she serves as a senior chief, girls as young as twelve years of age were once forced into marriage by parents who considered it a traditional rite of passage. In 2017, she was an integral part of an amendment which raised the minimum age of marriage from 15 to 18. She also teamed up with UN Women to get these young women an education, which she says is their right. These groundbreaking accomplishments have not come easy. When you combine an entrenched mindset with generational poverty, success is both relative and fleeting. But she forges ahead, one young woman at a time.

It’s the kind of story that doesn’t get told nearly enough because let’s face it, human interest stories are considered more filler than headline. But it makes you wonder what could be more important than an interest in humans?

Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving Big 3 destined to failA shout out to my pal Big Papi for breaking the news to me of James Harden’s beard now residing in Brooklyn. “The Beard” forced his way out of Houston by quitting on the Houston Rockets, and he comes East with the reputation of being a prolific scorer who considers defense optional. He’ll saddle up with Kyrie Irving- when Kyrie decides to return from his hiatus- and Kevin Durant, and not much else since Brooklyn emptied the cupboard to acquire him. Team TMZ in the media hornets nest of NYC? I cannot wait.

Wendy's manager shares the love one drive-thru customer at a time | Whidbey News-TimesImma conclude the day’s programming with a real keeper of a young lady who hails from Oak Harbor, Washington by the name of April DiDonna. Young April works as the fast food manager at a local Wendy’s and she’s serving up way more than hamburgers and fries. Last fall as the world was busy holding on for dear life, she decided to deliver a sentiment that Jackie DeShannon insisted there was much too little of. She told a drive-thru customer that she loved him.

“To know that the little three words could mean so much to so many people, it’s overwhelming my heart with so much more love . . .  I truly believe that if we just love each other, the world would be better.”

In October, she started keeping count of every customer who returned serve with an “I love you” of their own. She’s at over 2,700 and yes, she still counting. Because why not say it? And mean it? And count them? Every single one of the beautiful them?

The mother of three brings this powerful affirmation from a dark place in 2019 when her husband passed away. It turned her life upside down and left her feeling lost and hopeless. As with so many people who find themselves struggling through darkness, she was able to find the light by shining it not on herself, but on the people around her. Paying it forward comes with cosmic receipts and she collected one recently when an elderly customer admitted to DiDonna that she never thought she would hear those words again after losing her husband and then her brother. Of course, such an admission was greeted with a request to drive forward and park so she could receive a hug as well, at no extra charge.

Young April insists the universe is changing and that the stars are aligning for better days ahead, for all of us. And while the cynic in me might wonder aloud as to why anyone would think such a fool thing as this, the realist in me knows better than to argue. Because it’s not crazy or hopeless to believe that things might actually get better.

It’s love, actually.

 

The Great Divide

Biden and several ex-presidents condemn U.S. Capitol riots - CGTN

I guess the worst thing about a day full of worse case scenarios is that I saw it coming.

Yesterday was supposed to be the first Heroes episode of the new year. But for an early January day that became further proof that the ides of 2020 aren’t going to be that easy to shake. More to the truth, it’s the echoes of 2016 that promise to transcend a calendar year. And as much as we would like to think that Wednesday was an isolated incident, we know better because we’ve already seen some of the worst.

So it goes with the Make America Great Again Brigade, whose purpose is to transport us back to a simpler time. Back when the -isms were an integral part of society’s fabric. They want us to believe it’s not like that but their actions say otherwise. And yeah, you can start with all those confederate flags that were being waved and draped all over our nation’s Capitol building the other day. Unless you believe it was just a matter of imbedded marketing for the History Channel.

This great divide in our country didn’t happen overnight. It’s been festering for decades on end, but it was in need of a highly reactive charge to light the fire. They got their wish when Trump began speaking the language of a time and place that resonated with people who felt disenfranchised. And their feckless leader was only too happy to feed that beast.

It began with “Build the Wall”; ripped from the pages of a cold war logic whose tenets were built on quicksand and atrophy. This misbegotten campaign promise foretold the tyrannical game plan of a man who made it his business to retrofit patriotism into hateful propaganda. If nothing else, Trump has proved expert in the branding of -isms, and he used the office to do his bidding.

This President was never intent on being granted last rites, not while he still had a pulpit to bully from. And so he affixed his decisive loss to Joe Biden in November with yet another cartoonish conspiracy: Stop the Steal. It was classic Trump, boorish and divisive and entirely without merit. His Nixonian tactics might have been comical, if not for the tens of millions of apologists who behaved like moths to his flame.

Now we’ll get a flood of apologies from his former comrades who are experiencing buyer’s remorse a little too late. Their words ring hollow, more a matter of political survival than genuine concern for the safety and well being of its citizenry. And therein lies the meticulously insidious rub to our fledgling union. On the one side we have cretins like Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, whose mission, it seems, is to bastardize the Constitution. And on the other hand we’ll have a bloodthirsty media positioning themselves for Trump’s Waterloo with pulpy narratives, many of which will read more like fetish than fact.

The residue of the last four years did not conclude on Wednesday, it only made its reckoning tangible. We are facing a divide whose meanest days are ahead of us. But don’t take my word for it. Look at the lack of police presence as a mob of white people stormed a federal building and you can draw your own conclusions. It’s simply further proof that Trump fans travel well; from the Great Smoky Mountains to the halls of Congress to the world of finance, the military and law enforcement. The asymmetrical value of this mad circus must not be taken lightly.

Trump gained traction by convincing the haves they were the have nots. He took certain truths about the media and the liberal left and he transformed them into caricatures who posed a national security threat. But in the end, he was always the biggest threat.

On Wednesday, he proved it.

 

Hating A Player Means Ignoring The Game

I know I’m in the vast majority here, but I gotta say: God Bless Doug Pederson.

Contrary to those hot-take heads, I don’t think the Eagles coach has got to be got for what he did and more specifically, what he didn’t do in the Eagles season ending loss to the Washington No Names. I refuse to semblance a thesis paper on why Pederson should be brought up on charges for playing the role of Butch Coolidge in a game the Eagles sorta/shoulda/coulda won.

For those unfamiliar, Pederson took his starting QB, Jalen Hurts, out of a game the Eagles still had a chance to win the other night against Washington. He brought in some fellow named Nate Sudfeld, who is behind yours truly on most NFL depth charts. The Eagles would end up losing the game, and a result, handing Washington the division title.

The vitriol hurled at Pederson comes as a result of what was at stake. The Eagles had nothing to play for, outside of a higher draft pick if they lost. Washington was playing for a division title while their I-95 rival New York Giants were rooting hard for an Eagles upset that would have given them the chip.

Now, I could argue that Pederson’s decision to yank his starter was justified considering that Hurts was 7-20 for 70 yards, an INT and a QB Rating of 25 to that point. I could say the coach was looking to give Sudfeld one last chance to show his stuff before sending him off to sell life insurance. I could even be so bold as to imagine that Pederson was playing the margins: Maybe he figured Washington would take a nap once he subbed in a human paperweight under center.

could say all of those things, but I won’t.

Because the mafioso in me feels like Coach Pederson put out a hit on the New York Giants division title dreams while at the same time looking out for his own interests. And he won . . I mean lost. Both.

I learned many lessons growing up in John Gotti’s Howard Beach. One of which is that for every bad guy, there’s always a worse guy. And if you’re talking NFL business, there are a ton of worse guys than Doug Pederson, starting with Sheriff Goodell, who runs his league the way Gotti used to run his empire.

Now I can dispense with the tongue in cheek defense of Doug Pederson, who for all intents and purposes, is a genuine creep. He skipped town after an alleged sex scandal when he was in KC. And he’s thrown a ton of look away passes in regards to certain members of the Eagles engaging in criminal behavior since he’s been here. Let’s just say the guy is building up quite the resume in the event he ever wants to run for political office.

There’s a robust irony to the NFL community getting all disjointed over Pederson’s assault on its warped senses. They cry about how coach is messing with the integrity of the game by positioning himself for a higher draft pick rather than trying to win a game. Am I being too cynical if I laugh at the idea of the league having any integrity left to mess with? I mean, we’re talking about a Commissioner who took money from the US military in exchange for those patriotic pre-game ceremonies. And a league where all manner of criminals are given second, third, fourth, fifth and six chances to play their game, so long as they have some talent left to give.

So yeah, thank God for this “Tank-Gate” moment, because it shines a light on the low down dirty shame of a league it’s coming from. And I really don’t give a flip if Giants players are upset that the Eagles “weren’t trying to win” the other night. They went 6-10 on the season, so it’s evident they know all about not trying to win. And I say to those Eagles players upset at their coach that they can ask for a trade, which really means a raise. And to all those talking heads out there concerned that the game they love is in dire need of change, I gotta ask.

Where you been?

Heroes Of The Week! (24 Days Of Christmas Edition)

Super Santa Claus - Imgur

As the last Heroes episode of 2020, Imma dish up twenty four heroes and zeroes of the week as well as the year that was. This little intersection of Friday and the weekend has become a pretty cool place to be thanks to you, the readers. Because while I supply the stories, it’s you who gift the heartbeat with your participation. So as we bid adieu to a trying year, I wanted to take a moment to say a heartfelt thank you. Because without you, this Friday spot would be just another post.

For the final lineup of the year, I’ve gone red for the zeros and green for our heroes. So let’s get to ’em . . .


. . . To Ron Jacobsen, a 75 year old Vietnam veteran from Ronald, Washington for providing volunteerism with keeps. He’s logged more than 900 hours mentoring students at Cle Elum-Roslyn Elementary and was recently named a spokesman for the VFW’s #StillServing- which highlights the many contributions of our nation’s veterans.
. . .San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan played the most important defense of his life last month when he chased an intruder from his Los Angeles-area home. The perpetrator- who shall remain nameless because I say so- was arrested and charged with felony burglary. Thanks to DeMar, his neighbors can rest easy this holiday season.
. . . The Los Angeles Clippers won last offseason, after which they provided an epic collapse in the playoffs, with plenty of excuses to go around. After which they committed an obscene amount of money to Paul George, who has made a career of coming up short when it matters most.
. . . To first responders in Australia and California. The ones who lived there and the ones who traveled from across the map to get there and help, round the clock, any way they could.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg - HISTORY
. . . Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a trailblazer for gender equality who brought grace, dignity and a brilliant mind to her role as Supreme Court Justice. Her loss is a resounding one, but also a clarion call to others that her life’s work must be continued by this generation and the generations to come.
. . . To the thousands of volunteers who agreed to take the experimental vaccines, in spite of the risks, in order to ensure the safety and well being of millions.
. . . Rudy Giuliani has gone from “America’s Mayor” to the Penguin, acting as the shill for a President whose final act has proven to be every bit as graceless as the last four years.
. . . Army Ranger Patrick Payne signed up after September 11th because he wanted to make a difference. And he’s been doing just that ever since. He was recently awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for rescuing seventy five hostages during a firefight in Hawija, Iraq in 2015. He is what these Fridays are here for.
. . . Big time props to Tyler Perry, who was honored with the “People’s Champion of 2020” award last month at the E! People’s Choice Awards. Perry has shown up on our Friday edition a time or two, thanks to his philanthropic work. Here’s to a champion worth rooting for.
. . . And to soon to be former President Trump. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
. . . And a big thank you to the lovely Dale for the next three feel good stories, starting with Edmonton Oilers defenseman Ethan Bear, who wore a special jersey (check it out here) in honor of his indigenous heritage. It’s a lesson for our sports teams on this side of the border.

Henry Zavriyev Friendship Circletoys
. . . When Montreal businessman Henry Zavriyev came across a stash of toys in the basement of a building he was interested in buying, real estate took a backseat to his Christmas spirit. So he laid down a cool thirty G’s and then donated the toys to Friendship Circle; a non-profit that provides support to children with special needs. And somewhere, Santa is taking notes.
. . . And we’re sending out birthday wishes to Major Wooten, whose family threw him one heck of a party earlier this month. The WWII Army veteran was diagnosed with the coronavirus in November. And won. Just in time to celebrate his 104th birthday. We salute you, good sir.
. . . Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape in February in what would prove to be a watershed moment for the #MeToo movement. May he never see the light of day again.
. . . The American Voters. They spoke in record numbers with more than 161 million people turning out to cast their ballots, which adds up to 66 percent of eligible voters. It was a resounding display of what democracy is all about.

70-Year-Old Veteran Battling Cancer Hailed as an 'Angel' After He Charged into Burning Home to Save Neighbors
. . . Marshall Helm is a seventy year old Air Force veteran who worked on B-29’s and fought in Vietnam. Now he’s fighting a very different battle, this one with cancer. And yet, the Salem Illinois resident did not hesitate when he spotted a neighbor’s house going up in flames. He ran in and woke up the couple, who’ve taken to calling Helm their “angel”. Clarence Odbody would be proud. (A shout out to Cincy over at “Beaches” for this get). 
. . . To all the scientists who have been working tirelessly in their quest to develop a coronavirus vaccine.
. . . To the mask-less marauders among us who make the already difficult jobs of retail, service and health workers that much harder. They come up with myriad excuses- from defending their ‘rights’ to having a ‘medical condition’- but this dog and pony ate my homework show is not only lame, it’s dangerous.
. . . Another big thank you to Frank “Beaches” Angle for supplying the story about a Secret Santa who will be doling out $100,000 dollars this holiday season to essential workers. In these trying times, it’s heartening to know there are plenty of peeps who understand what the season of giving is all about.
. . . MLB Umpire Brian O’Nora- along with thirteen other men in Youngstown, Ohio- was arrested last weekend and charged with soliciting and possessing criminal tools. The arrests were part of a human trafficking sting by law enforcement officials and is further evidence of this frightening shadow world.
. . . To all the essential workers out there who have been getting it done in the middle of a raging storm. Their dedication and commitment serve as an inspiration, now and always.
. . . And here’s a two for one Hero/Zero for you . . . To Alex Trebek, whose legacy goes far beyond the set of a game show thanks to a lifetime of philanthropic pursuits. And to be replaced, even on an interim basis by former Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings? Nope. The dude has shown himself to be a champion creep, and unworthy of the seat Trebek once occupied.

Heroic Nurses Stay Behind To Rescue 19 Babies As Hurricane Laura Hit Hospital | Goalcast
. . . When Hurricane Laura bore down on Lake Charles, Louisiana back in September, there were 19 residents who could not abide by the official order for a mandatory evacuation: The nineteen babies in the neonatal intensive unit at Lake Charles Hospital. So a team of twenty hospital workers stayed with them. If ever there was a microcosm of 2020, this just might be it.

Welp, I hope you enjoyed the last installment of Heroes for the year. May your Christmas be merry and bright and may the new year bring us to the end of what has proven to be a long, dark tunnel.

Here’s to the light.

Heroes Of The Week

The only superhero movies still coming out in 2020

With another round of shut downs set to take place across the country, my compound in Montana is looking more enticing every day. I’ll need to come up with a name for our cult, so if y’all have any ideas, please send them my way. In the meanwhile, Imma dish up another episode of the better and the worse that tucked itself into the news cycle.

So let’s get to it . . .

A Florida man just paid off the past dues for 114 families at risk of having their utilities shut off - CNN

Michael Esmond is the owner and operator of Gulf Breeze Pools and Spas in Pensacola, Florida, and while business has been good, he knows how fortunate he is. This meanest of seasons has not been nearly so kind to many of his friends and neighbors. So Esmond took his good fortune and he paid the past due utility bills- totaling more than $7,600- for 114 families who were about to be disconnected.

The 74 year old experienced his share of trying times in the past, and so he felt it was only right to give what he could in order to help others see their way through.

“I have been down on my luck like people are today, where I had trouble paying bills and raising three daughters,” he said. “The gas company shut the gas off and we didn’t have any heat . . . People can’t afford to pay their bills and put food on the table, so I hope doing my part and paying some bills for these folks takes a little bit of stress off of them around Christmas time,” he said.

In dark times, it’s people like Desmond who shine brightest of all.

Kyrie Irving and Nets Fined $25K! 2020-21 NBA Season - YouTube

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving says he will make himself available to the press when he damn well feels like it and not a moment before. Seeing as how this is the same dude who insisted the world was flat and LeBron James is simply an okay player, I think he’s doing everyone a great service by not sharing his scary genius. Seriously, if you’re giving a penny for Irving’s thoughts, you’ve drastically overpaid.

Dairy Queen customer in Minnesota sparks 2-day 'pay it forward' chain - ABC13 Houston

If you’re a fan of Fargo, like me (and Joe Pesci), then Brainerd, Minnesota already holds a special place. The city the Coen Brothers once described as “Siberia, with family restaurants,” is back in the news again . . for all the right reasons. It seems the peeps of this county seat have taken the idea of paying it forward to new heights.

What began as a simple act of kindness has warmed the heart of this small town to such a degree, that Jack Frost took a weekend trip to Miami Beach until things cooled down again. I’ll let Dairy Queen manager Tina Jensen provide the what for this what?

So (a customer) pulled up and I said ‘just to let you know the gentleman in front of you paid for your order. If you like, I can pay it forward and you can pay for the order behind you and we can keep this going.’ She’s like ‘really, why would he do that?’ I said ‘we just have it every once in a while where someone will take care of the person behind them and today is your lucky day.’

The customer was duly inspired to pay for the order behind her. And then so forth became so on. And on, and on . . . until the pay it forward chain was finally broken three days, nine hundred vehicles and ten thousand dollars in sales later. Jensen says it’s not the first time her DQ has gotten all caught up in such a beautiful chain as this, and it’s not likely to be the last.

Which means Jack Frost best be taking a week in Aruba the next time.

Coach O recaps National Signing Day for LSU Tigers

It feels like I just got done ranting about the low down dirty shame of a college football program LSU has proven to be when this week happened. And with it, a hot new pile of forgettable to sink the former darlings of the sport.

The university announced it was imposing a one year bowl ban on its football team due to violations which included former Tiger Odell Beckham Jr handing out cash on the sidelines after his Alma mater beat Clemson for the national title in January. The other charges include school boosters doing the same as OBJ, albeit not quite so prominently.

Did LSU suddenly find religion? Not hardly. See, when a football factory like LSU penalizes itself, this means the violations we know about are a cupcake sale compared with the shit we do not know. But seeing as how none of the violations pertain to the multiple rapes committed by members of the football team, any right minded individual should be outraged. Too bad the school, and the NCAA for that matter, don’t much care for the safety and well being of women.

And to add further injurious insult to this bread and circuses program, with the team’s record currently at 3-5, they would have been lucky to score an invite to the Marshmallow Fluff Bowl. And any revenue they might lose because of the ban? Some booster not under investigation is sure to write that check.

And the beat goes on.

Elementary School Teacher Donates Kidney To Her School's Custodian | FaithPot

I’m not going to lie. The Christmas spirit that’s supposed to be running through my veins right about now, well . . it hasn’t shown up just yet. And I know I ain’t alone in this respect, not by a longshot. Which means that Erin Durga is right on time in this, the season of giving, with a story that would take Santa’s breath away.

Things were looking bleak for Patrick Mertens inside a year that has already proven unforgiving for so many. But the sixty four year old custodian at Kimball Elementary School in Minnesota was facing a much different health crisis. Mertens was in need of a kidney, and he was running out of time.

The teachers at Kimball had pitched in with fundraisers to help pay for his dialysis treatments, but mortality was busy rapping knuckle at his door until Erin Durga- a third-grade teacher at Kimball- made certain that 2020 wasn’t going to claim someone else. Once tests confirmed that she was a match, she drove to Mertens home to deliver the news that she would be his donor.

“I felt in my heart, from the very beginning, that this was my thing,” Durga said. “Once I decided that, yes, I’m going to donate to Pat, I felt really good about it, and I was at peace with it throughout the entire thing.”

The operation was a success and both Mertens and Durga were able to return to work in August. He calls her his angel, for being the messenger who delivered him the best gift, like . . ever.

Turns out maybe I don’t need the Christmas spirit after all. Maybe the human spirit will do just fine.

 

Heroes Of The Week!

Superman Becomes a Star/Superheroes Take Over the World

There are officially ninety one days remaining in 2020, not like I’m counting the minutes . . . yet. And I guess the best thing you can say about this year of living dangerously is that Charles Manson isn’t around to say I told you so. 

Not that it’s all bad, really. In fact, there’s a lot of it that’s really been kind of great. And maybe you won’t find it on your cable news networks, or on the front pages of your local newspapers. But no matter, because the good stuff still counts. And apologies ahead of time for the mugshot below, but I think this imbecile resembles the facial composite of our otherwise forgettable year. But no worries, because there’s plenty of pushback to that ugly. 

So let’s get rolling . . .

Man gets 1 year in jail for holding large parties against COVID-19 rules -  ABC News

Shawn Marshall Myers of Hughsville, Maryland was sentenced to a year behind bars for throwing several large parties- in violation of the state’s emergency order. But really, could we add another year? For that hair? . . . .

Alex Smith - Wikipedia

The team formerly known as Redskins ain’t possessing much in the way of positive shout outs. But for their backup quarterback Alex Smith. The former first rounder pick has worked himself all the way back from a devastating leg injury suffered during a game almost two years ago. He underwent 17 surgeries after the injury resulted in a flesh eating disease which threatened his life. Fast forward to now, and he’s made it all the way back. The selfish part of me wishes he would retire rather than risk anything further, but the dude’s heart and soul is the kind of stuff future players should be inspired by. 

Joe Montana and wife rescue grandchild from attempted kidnapping

And speaking of kick ass QB’s, Joe Montana was the epitome of a big game gunslinger in his day; winning four Super Bowls in four tries. But as a grandfather, Joe Cool outdid all of his on field exploits recently when he saved his nine month old grandchild from a would be kidnapper. The incident happened at his Malibu home, where Joe and his wife thwarted the attempt and had the intruder arrested. I’m betting he’d score that as the biggest win of his life. 

Next up, I’ve got a couple of stories that are belated in the telling by yours truly, but no less beautiful in the deeds that were done. 

Justin Gavin is being called a hero after pulling a mom and three children from a burning car.

First up we have 18 year Justin Gavin, who didn’t even have time to put on his cape after he spotted an SUV that had caught fire. He gave chase and finally was able to catch up with the vehicle once it had come to a stop, after which he helped remove a mother and her three children (1, 4 and 9 years old), who had been trapped inside. The Waterbury Police Department honored Gavin with a “Challenge Coin” 

“I hope that when you have that coin it just reminds you of this day and you can reflect back on all the good that came out of this for you and that family that you saved,” said Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo.

There are four people who get to wake up this morning thanks to the actions of this kid. Four stories that keep getting written and one big reason to believe that superheroes are real. 

Hero boxer DeAndre Ware saves fight promoter's life | Atlanta Daily World

DeAndre Ware’s boxing career is currently in a downward slope after his loss to Steven Nelson by TKO in a super middleweight bout early last month. But it was Ware’s actions before the fight even took place that speak to the true value of the man. When Pete Susens- a coordinator for Top Rank Boxing- collapsed during weigh-ins, Ware performed chest compressions that ended up saving his life. You see, Ware also happens to be a firefighter in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio. So while boxing is a passion, his everyday existence is playing out in a ring where the stakes are much higher. And he’s winning. Big time. 

And now Imma dish up a double dose from the Cincinnati Kid over at the blog formerly (and still) known as aFrankAngle. This first story, well . . some of you already know it so I’ll just include the video above. It’s good stuff, so if you haven’t checked it out, please do. 

Derlin Newey, a pizza delivery driver in Utah, hugs the Valdez family after being surprised with a tip of a lifetime.

The second part of Frank’s double shot of good feeling tonic . . . wait for it . . . delivers. The Valdez family are bringing the ‘social’ to social media with a gift they recently presented to a very special person in their lives. Eighty nine year old Derlin Newey is their pizza delivery man- they ask for him every time they place an order. They started recording his deliveries for their TikTok channel @vendingheads because they love the guy so much. 

“It’s insane. Everybody loves him,” said Carlos Valdez. They love the smiles he brings to their faces every time he throws down his signature phrase “Hello, are you looking for some pizza?”

Eighty nine years old and working thirty hours a week because he can’t make ends meet on social security alone. And so the family that’s come to love him decided to ask for donations from their more than 53,000 TikTok followers. They were able to raise $12,000 for Newey. After which they presented him with a great big check, with lots of hugs attached to it.  

“He needed this. I’m just glad we could help him,” said Valdez. “We just need to treat people with kindness and respect the way he does. He stole our hearts.”

It can be so easy to let the cynics win the days, especially these days. But you really don’t have to look very hard to find out just how wrong they are about us humans. Because we’re not doomed. We’re not defeated. We’re not hopeless creatures in a slow march to the end of the sidewalk. We’re more than that, so much more than that. And when the world gives us precious little? 

We give it everything we have. 

Heroes Of The Week

For this week’s episode, I was fortunate enough to have been gifted all the stories by my peeps- bloggers and posse alike. So this Friday feels very much like that bodega tucked into the corner of the neighborhood. The one that’s filled with every kind of something and familiar faces that ensure the lights will stay on for a mighty long time. 

Here’s their lineup . . . . 

This first story is brought to us by Dale, who actually delivered up a two for one special. Demetrius Harvard came up zeroes after tossing construction debris onto the subway tracks at 14th Street and 8th Avenue Station in Chelsea this week. As a result, he was charged with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, assault and criminal trespass. These crimes caused a train derailment that could have resulted in tragedy if not for a “heroic crew” that was able to stop the train and deliver the 135 passengers on board to safety. When it comes to acts of heroism, the Big Apple’s inhabitants don’t need Spiderman’s help. They got this. 

Good Samaritan Rikien Wilder, 44, who jumped into the tracks to remove debris and detained suspect Demetrius Harvard.

And a big thank you to LA for her shout out on the train derailment story. She told me to look up Rikein Wilder for this week’s episode, and I’m glad I did. 

Wilder was on the platform when he witnessed Harvard dumping debris on the tracks. He navigated a set of stairs that led to the tracks and removed some of the debris before the train reached the station; his actions helping to prevent a derailment. He then ran upstairs to alert transit workers before returning to the platform to find Harvard at it again. This time Harvard was successful in his attempt to derail a subway car, after which Wilder gave chase and caught him, pinning him down for fifteen minutes before authorities arrived. MTA Chairman Pat Foye said our hero “exemplifies the best of New York,” and I would simply add this. Rikein Wilder exemplifies the best in all of us. 

Next up on the docket is a beauty of a get from Frank. In his words, “This nomination is so odd that it’s good. For me, no hero – but a collective that came together for something out of the ordinary.” And with all due respect to the Cincinnati Kid, Imma disagree with his assessment. Because every simple act of kindness behaves as spiritual fuel, and Lord knows we live inside a time when our tanks are in constant need of a fill up. I’ll let the video do the rest of my talking on this one. Enjoy. 

Pregnant Woman Jumps Into Ocean To Save Husband From Shark Attack

My pal Jen says we can call it a wrap when it comes to dishing up the Wife of the Year award, because Margot Dukes-Eddy has it in the bag after what she pulled off in the Florida Keys recently. Margot and her husband Andrew were enjoying a day on the water with their family when he decided to take a swim. No sooner had he moved into the water than a nine foot bull shark attached its razor sharp teeth to his shoulder. Margot dove in and was able to remove him from the water and while doctors are saying he still has a fight ahead of him, it’s almost a certainty he wouldn’t have made it out of the water alive if not for the quick actions of his wife. Who . . oh by the way, happens to be pregnant. Let’s hope these two kids will be recounting one hell of a fish story fifty years from now. 

Dak Prescott made NFL history during his amazing performance in the  Cowboys' comeback win - Blogging The Boys

Leave it to my compadre Big Papi to find his way into this week’s episode, unwittingly. He was chatting up his Dallas Cowboys recently when he made mention of Dak Prescott’s heroics on the field before segueing into the quarterback’s recent statements about mental health. And then I went to look it up and here’s an excerpt. 

“All throughout this quarantine and this offseason, I started experiencing emotions I’ve never felt before,” Prescott said. “Anxiety for the main one. And then, honestly, a couple of days before my brother passed, I would say I started experiencing depression. And to the point of, I didn’t want to work out anymore. I didn’t know necessarily what I was going through, to say the least, and hadn’t been sleeping at all.”

Depression isn’t a topic I feel quite so courageous about delving into all that often, so I appreciate someone like Prescott. Because for all the critics out there who believe that sports should stay in its lane, its guys like him who are able to shine a light on matters that have been kept in the dark for far too long. 

More than three and a half million Americans live with depression, and those numbers are rising. It does not discriminate and it is relentless. So when we hear an athlete such as Prescott open up about his own mental health issues, it might be easy for some to dismiss him as an anomaly since “he has it all” and so really, what does he have to be depressed about? 

Well, check out this list . . .

Kevin Love, DeMar DeRozan, Brandon Marshall, Michael Phelps, Imani Boyette, Amanda Beard, Justin Duchscherer, Allison Schmitt, Ricky Williams, Jerry West, Serena Williams, Ronda Rousey, Delonte West, Dwayne Johnson, Terry Bradshaw, Joey Votto, Ian Thorpe, Andy Baddely, Ricky Hatton, Dan Carcillo, John Kirwan, Shea Emry, Andrew Jensen, David Freese, Larry Sanders, Oliver Bone, Frank Bruno, Jack Green, Michael Yardy. 

These are just some of the names you’ll find when you go looking for famous athletes who’ve reached the pinnacle of their professions. And every single one of them battles depression on a daily basis. 

There but for the grace of God, you keep on. You find a reason to wake up and to keep up and most of all, you find a reason not to give up. But don’t tell me there’s not some kid out there who can’t learn from the experiences of these athletes. And maybe, just maybe, it becomes their lighthouse in the storm. Because when a guy like Prescott speaks up the way he did, no, it’s not about the games. 

And that’s the point. 

 

 

 

 

Heroes Of The Week!

Brett Favre: 25 Greatest Moments of His Hall of Fame Career | Bleacher  Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights

In spite of climate change, Trump attrition, social unrest and oh yeah . . a global pandemic, the NFL is getting its game on once again. There will be story-lines aplenty as we’ll have kneeling players, canned crowd noise, demonstrations and more playoff teams. Tom Brady is now retired and living in Tampa while Cam Newton will do his best Darth Maul impersonation in the hopes of keeping the Evil Empire relevant. Because of the disparity in COVID rules from state to state, some teams will host fans at limited capacity while other teams will have no fans in attendance. The silver lining in this playbook is that Philadelphia falls into the latter category. Sorry Eagles fans, but you still suck. 

And now for a special Tuesday lineup . . . 

Bella Witt, 50 Yard Challenge, Three Hills

Imma start on the positive side of the equation this week, thanks to Dale’s chime about a young lady from Alberta, Canada. 14 year old Bella Witt is going the extra yard this year, fifty times over. She’s taking on the 50 Yard Challenge, in which she will mow fifty different yards in her community. The volunteer movement was started by Rodney Smith, Jr of Huntsville, Alabama in 2015. Those who sign up can tend to their neighbors lawns in a variety of ways- from mowing them to raking leaves and even shoveling snow. The kids get a different colored t-shirt for every ten lawns they complete until they achieve their ‘black belt’ status once they’ve gone fifty strong. 

“Since COVID-19 there hasn’t been a lot to do here and I thought why not help people,” explained Witt. “There’s so much going on right now and I just want to be a blessing to people who have a hard time.”

Oh Bella, you are a blessing to us all. 

Marjorie Taylor Greene wins Georgia's 14th district runoff - AxiosOn the flip side, we have Marjorie Taylor Greene diluting the gene pool down in Georgia. The Republican is running for Congress, and she’s got a lot of Trumpian ideas at the ready. Her newest gem? A claim that forcing boys to wear masks is “emasculating”.  Never mind that more than half a million American kids have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and there’s been a 16 percent increase in these cases since mid August. 

How’s about we fit Green with a duct taped mask? 

Last week marked the nineteenth anniversary of the most devastating terror attack on US soil. So it’s worth remembering in these trying times that if we take the uniforms for granted, we do so at our own peril. The boys at the FDNY came through again recently when they tackled 53 year old Daniel Biggs; who just so happens to have a rap sheet a mile long and was intent on adding to it. As he was riding his bike along the sidewalk in Bedford Stuyvesant, Biggs decided it would be a good idea to punch a sixty year old woman in the face. Two problems: One, it’s assault. And two, he did so right in front of a firehouse. So needless to say, Biggs didn’t get very far before he was brought to the ground by New York’s Bravest. 

These guys ain’t quitting on us, and the feeling is mutual. 

Imma wrap up this special Tuesday edition with a belated tribute to a couple of legends, who gifted the world their immense talents in two different arenas. 

Trailblazing Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson dies - REVOLT

John Thompson changed the landscape of college basketball forever. Before he got to Georgetown, the team was an also ran, having just finished out a 3-23 campaign. Within three seasons, Thompson had them in the tournament. He built a national powerhouse in the eighties, winning a national title and reigning supreme over the Big East conference. But it was the impression he made with his kids off the court that will stand the true test of time. When star center Alonzo Mourning and another player were said to be running with associates of reputed drug boss Ray Edmond, Thompson called for a face to face meeting with him in his office. At the meeting, the coach proceeded to get in Edmond’s grill, informing him he was to have no further contact with any of his players. Edmonds never did associate with another Hoyas player after that meeting. When the news of Thompson’s passing came down, his former star point guard Allen Iverson credited Thompson with saving his life. Interestingly, Thompson was supposed to have been on the United Airlines flight that crashed into the Pentagon, but his place was cancelled. He made these last nineteen years count. 

Chadwick Boseman didn't just play icons. He was one. | National News |  martinsvillebulletin.com

Whereas the inimitable Mr Thompson climbed every mountain set in front of him, there is a profound sadness to the passing of Chadwick Boseman because he had so many more mountains left to climb. In his all too brief career, Boseman wrote and directed several plays and appeared on a couple television shows before scoring a role that would put him on the map for good. 

His portrayal of Jackie Robinson in the movie 42 got the attention of Hollywood moguls and moviegoers alike. Rachel, the widow of the iconic ballplayer said watching Chadwick immerse himself in the role was like being introduced to Jackie again. And from there, the world showed up at his doorstep and Boseman was more than ready to take it for a spin. He played legends like Thurgood Marshall and superheroes like the Black Panther. He was box office magic with a screen presence that promised Oscars, as in plural. But while the world was busy gifting him the much deserved rewards of his chosen craft, life was busy taking him away from us even if we never saw it coming. In 2016, Boseman was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. He never shared this fact with the outside world, and he kept working throughout. He starred in several more films while undergoing chemotherapy as well as multiple surgeries. But it was a race he was destined to lose when the cancer returned this year. And it doesn’t make one damn bit of sense that he’s gone before he even really got started. That forty three years becomes the end instead of another beginning. 

There’s no song I could attach to this, because truthfully I didn’t come into this post expecting it would take me here. And now it doesn’t feel right, to put these final thoughts to music. So instead, I’ll place a picture of Boseman’s visit to St. Jude’s Hospital in 2018. Right in the middle of his stoic battle, he took some time for the kids, his fans. And this picture, I don’t know why but it fills me with peace. 

Sometimes there is music in the silence. 

Inside Chadwick Boseman's Emotional Visit to St. Jude's | PEOPLE.com

Heroes Of The Week!

30 Funniest Parks and Rec Quotes of All TIme | Best Life

As we inch closer to a national election that feels as if it was written by Judd Apatow, I thought about petitioning for a recount on my last Heroes episode. And then I realized that I didn’t actually use a political theme for the post, so never mind. And for the record? I’m voting for Bobby Newport in November. I’m half serious about that, and as Bobby would say, the other half is serious too. 

So now that I’ve gone two straight Heroes episodes without having talked politics, and my reward is an actual theme to gift you this week. The lovely Dale is playing Luke Skywalker, seeing as how she sent me three heroic stories this week. While I pick up the slack for Darth Vader by supplying the zeroes. I know, shocker!

And now for this week’s lineup . . .

The Yankees And Rays Absolutely Hate Each Other And It's Fucking Awesome |  Barstool Sports

Up until this moment, the Tampa Bay Rays have been that other team in every baseball movie. They’re a monochrome curiosity that is good enough to take the champion fifteen rounds, before getting steamrolled by the closing credits. But now they have a club with a legitimate chance to win it all, and so maybe their manager Kevin Cash should start behaving as if he’s been here before. The Rays skipper got all bent out of shape after Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman threw a a hundred mile an hour missile at his player’s head. Cash and his team have every reason to be pissed, but then he went and said this . . .

“Somebody’s got to be accountable,” Cash said. “And the last thing I’ll say on this is I got a whole damn stable full of guys that throw 98 mph. Period.”

How about you make the MLB do it’s fucking job. Make sure they hold Chapman and the Yanks accountable. But an outright threat such as the one Cash threw out serves no good purpose. If he’d chosen his words wisely, the onus would be entirely on the Yankees, but Cash went minor league instead. That’s a shame. 

Like any responsible homeowner, Dave Phoxe of Salt Lake City, Utah does what he can to keep his home and family safe from harm. He installed a security camera that syncs to his phone, alerting him to any uninvited guests who make the scene. So when he discovered that a little kid was using his driveway as a racetrack, he could have stormed outside and told the kid to scram. But Phoxe had a better idea. And so he made his driveway into a racetrack, drawing a lane that zigged and zagged to a finish line. Something tells me he’s got one hell of an encore for the kids who play on his lawn when he’s an old man. 

Clay Higgins says on Facebook that armed demonstrators 'won't walk away'  from Louisiana protests | News | theadvocate.com

Congratulations to Clay Higgins, the U.S. Representative out of Louisiana’s third district for taking the prize as biggest asshole of the week. No easy task these days, and yet Higgins makes it look easy with commentary that would make a serial killer wince. 

Higgins hopped on Facebook this week (This is what’s called foreshadowing) and proceeded to shit his feelings into the virtual world. His topic of conversation in this instance were the armed protesters showing up across his state. And for those of you with an allergy to ass hats with Rambo fetishes, you might want to move on to the next story, because the following is a sample of his rant. 

“I’d drop any 10 of you where you stand,” Higgins began, before continuing with “Nothing personal. We just eliminate the threat. We don’t care what color you are. We don’t care if you’re left or right. if you show up like this, if We recognize threat…you won’t walk away.”

I mean, where do I begin? Okay, maybe with an observation that goes something like this: Old Clay wasn’t posting shit like this on FB when white kids in PBR caps were walking through Wal-Marts fully armed. So yanno what I always say . . . there is that. 

Tom Seaver, greatest Met ever, dead at 75

Okay, so I lied. Imma dish up a tribute to an all time great who was a hero to every Queens kid back in the days of bell-bottom jeans and 8-track players. Tom Seaver blessed the game of baseball in myriad ways over a career that spanned three decades and five cities. He won 311 games to the tune of a 2.86 ERA in that space of time. He snagged Rookie of the Year honors in 1967 and was the ace of the Miracle Mets World Series team in ’69. He was a Cy Young winner three times over, an All Star twelves times and he pitched a no hitter as a member of the Cincinnati Reds in 1978. But as a man, he contributed even more than that. He was an ambassador whose grace, wisdom and experience has left a lasting impression on the game he loved. They really don’t write them like Tom anymore. 

Okay, for this last story Imma do things a little differently and just let author Shaka Senghor take us home. In his words. Because I could not have said it any better than he did on his Facebook post.

Last Friday night I was standing outside of a barbershop in Cincinnati, Oh,with a small group of mostly black men, when this officer walked over to a group of us. He looked around curiously and said “I don’t see a car blocking an intersection” while shaking his head. I asked him what was he talking about. He said someone called and reported that we had a car blocking the intersection. He paused for a minute and shook his head again. In that moment we both nodded and acknowledged what had just happened. Someone basically saw our group and made a false report. I asked him how long he had been on the job and he said 10 months. He asked what we were doing at the barbershop and so told him about the barbershop challenge Men of Courage and Ford Fund has sponsored. I asked if he wanted to come inside. He said he wanted to, but didn’t want to spoil the fun with his presence. Again we both nodded and acknowledged the reality of distrust between the community and police officers. I offered to take him inside so he could meet the owners and establish a relationship. I told him that someone has to take the first step to healing these relationships. He said he wanted to, but was unsure of what the reaction would be. I told him it would be cool and that Jerome Bettis and a host of other amazing people were inside. He lit up like a light bulb and said “No way The Bus is in there”, with a kid like smile. I said hold on, I’ll grab him and have him come out. Jerome Bettis came out and the officer stood there with his mouth agape before saying “if my dad was still alive he would be so excited, because you were his favorite player”. We all stopped and sat in the moment before they went on to take a selfie together. It was one of those moments that reminded me of our humaneness, our frailties and our similarities. In that moment we were all just men navigating the world without the mask we are taught and trained to wear. I could have taken my offense to the call out on the officer and accused him of being a racist cop. He could have believed the caller and acted based on stereotypes about black men in groups. But we chose to just see each other and talk like humans. It’s ultimately a decision we can all make. When he lit up like a kid at seeing his dad’s sports hero, I saw a little boy and the uniform no longer mattered. We can collectively choose to see beyond the uniforms we all wear.

It’s not easy and there is a lot of work to be done, but if we can at least start seeing each other, I believe things will get better.