Annoyances Post #2,632

I was chatting up irksome things with a fellow blogger this morning, and it inspired me to revisit the ‘Annoyances’ posts I used to do back on my drinking blog. So this evening, I came up with a plan of action. Sit down and set the timer for a couple minutes whilst listing some of the things that annoy me.

Back in the day, (a couple years ago, on my drinking blog) I would’ve supplemented my vitriolic acid with alcohol, nicotine and Oxy.  Sadly, this post was written with nary a performance enhancing drug involved. I seriously miss just how much fun I used to be. And so what if it was eighty proofed with a hallucinogenic chaser and nicotine cherry on top? It still fucking counts.

(Editor’s Note: I went back after my couple minutes was up and added some thoughts to the annoyances that supply a particular curse word or several whenever they come to mind. Because not all annoyances are created equal.)

So without further adieu, I give you some annoyances fresh off the top of my head. With no chemically enhanced originality to flavor things up. And, umm . .you’re welcome?

  • White guys who say “My bad” . . . and mean it.
  • Nicholas Sparks
  • The Rolling Stones insane popularity
  • March Madness– The analysts are glorified used car salesmen, the coaches are made men and the best talent goes right to the NBA. It’s a dirty sport . . without the fun. It’s a slap in the face to organized crime is what it is.
  • Kristen Bell
  • Cart Attendants
  • Applebee’s
  • Vaping
  • Sporks
  • BBQ debates– KC says they have the best BBQ while Carolina (pick one) says they have the best BBQ. And I don’t like BBQ. So whatever.
  • Sequins
  • Mullets
  • Apple
  • Red Sox fans– Hey peeps, you have four World Series titles in the last fifteen years and you’re still 18 behind the Yankees. The team has a nice core which can possibly win a couple more in the next decade. But the Yankees will match that. Which means your stinking Sawx will still be looking up at the Yankees a century from now. Slow your roll.
  • Nipple rings
  • People who say “Must be nice . . .”
  • Guy Fieri
  • People who rant on social media while sitting in their car
  • NA Beer
  • MTV
  • Forrest Gump
  • Jenny from Forrest Gump– It figures that in one of the most overrated movies of a generation, Gump has the worst girlfriend. Ever.
  • Assholes who rev their engines at traffic lights
  • Peloton People
  • Commercials
  • Stairway to Heaven
  • Match Box collectors
  • Panera Bread acting like it’s God’s gift to food
  • Extreme Couponers
  • Public Restrooms
  • Painfully specific Starbucks orders
  • People who say LOL
  • The wanton use of the word Amazing
  • Cupcake Wars- This show is subsidized by the Department of Defense in an attempt to subvert the term ‘war’. Thereby making it not only more psychologically acceptable, but downright fucking tasty. And if you consider my opinion to be ridiculous, it ain’t any more ridiculous than a show called cupcake wars.
  • McCafe
  • Jeannine Pirro
  • People who give you dirty looks when you walk in a bar, as if you just walked into their living room
  • Running into an ex
  • The sound of tapping on a keyboard in a movie or TV show
  • Baseball caps with a flat bill

I’m not gonna lie, I could have done this all day long. More than ninety percent of the shit I come across on a daily basis is either irksome or downright fucking annoying to me. I have to believe it’s not healthy to be annoyed by so many things so much of the time.

I guess that’s what therapy is for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chasing Rushmore: Women’s Edition!

So me and Q were having a beer debate on favorite all time female comedians, and it was feeling every bit the same way as when you go shopping at Target. Yanno . . . you go in for a travel sized toiletries bag and some condoms, and you walk out with a High Def TV, a six month supply of cheesecake bites and Joanna Gaines’s cell number? You know exactly what I’m talking about . . unless you were born yesterday. In Canada.

The debate as per the funniest female on the planet runs longer than a red carpet show on the planet Venus. And truth be told, I’ve always been a fool for the the double X chromosome way of doing funny business. There is nothing quite like a dame who can steal the keys to your smile. And the double down comes when she cashes in your smile for a laugh that hurtles the planet Mars.

If you were wondering what a ‘beer debate’ is all about . . it’s really quite simple. Drink beers whilst texting a favorite comrade, and then throw a fun and sexy debate into the mix. I assure you, it beats the hell out of most any other debate you’re ever gonna involve yourself in.

So we debated our Mount Rushmore of female comedians as I was venturing into the first couple minutes of The Long, Long Trailer on TCM, with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. If you’ve never seen it, get to stepping . . like right now. Because it’s an hour and forty three minutes worth of the most wonderful science experiment known to humankind. These two kids from different sides of a ninety mile train track worth of oceans, they were a brilliant complication whose arrangement nested into our hearts and stayed put.

So Lucille Ball is my George Washington of a Mount Rushmore arrangement of female comedians. Q had no problema with that assessment. What’s not to love? Lucy was sexy and beautiful with comedic timing that could have talked Dante Alighieri into writing the best Goddamn sitcom ever.

So from those heights, we chiseled out some more of this rock of funny sages and we came to an agreement on Carol Burnett (That was Q’s get). Burnett’s comedy skits were of an age that hasn’t even arrived here quite yet. She introduced me to the kind of drug I’ve been in the market for ever since.

We arrived at the intermezzo with one hell of a situation on our hands. Because the talent that was spilling out of our texts was akin to a garden hose inside the dog days of summer.

Next up, I went for Ellen. Because I remember some of her early stuff, before she got ABC. And lemme tell you, I would have been her groupie if that had been her thing. No questions asked. She hit me that way. Hard and sublimely. I still quiver, yeah . . it’s like that. But man, the brilliance of her stand up act was worth a mighty intoxicating platter.

So here we stood, ninety feet from home plate with a harem of laugh makers that had to be cut. Which is why you choose beer for such a debate, kids. For the hops it gifts you.

We had Joan Rivers, whose balls were mighty and whose sacred cows were always missing in action; because she spared no one and nothing, ever. And damn if that isn’t what comedy is supposed to feel like. There was Tina Fey, whose politics were so fucking smart that she made you feel as if she was swimming three olives inside a perfectly constructed martini. And so what if Amy Schumer can’t be political to save her life? She does everything else spot on, including vagina (pun intended).

Lily Tomlin is first ballot Hall of Fame, and if you go with her . . you gotta bring Bette Midler along, because she is mirror image (Big Business reference). And speaking of mirror besties, you can’t leave Vicki Lawrence out of the Carol Burnett discussion if you stayed up to watch those two light up the screen. And if you were of that certain age, you watched Betty White, Phyllis Diller and Mary Tyler Moore do the same damned bit of wonderful. And then you watched Goldie Hawn make fun of the armed services without so much as a trip to the President’s office.

And of that certain age, when Saturday night at home wasn’t a complete waste of time because of SNL . . you remember Jane Curtin and Gilda Radner. Mightily. After which Amy Poehler, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Kristin Wiig did the seats just fine.

And Whoopi did stand-up with the kind of hold you can’t teach, and then she doubled down on a cinematic career whose carom made Ghost one of the best movies. Ever. And there is Kathy Griffin, who seems a bit lost in space excepting for those NYE installments with her girlfriend Anderson (They are one of my favorite couples). But she is still all that, when she’s not beheading Trump. And speaking of women who don’t need a dude prop, Melissa McCarthy. Why she ever did that sitcom with the unfunny guy? I’ll never understand.

So me and Q debated ourselves into one last round as Lucy and Ricky gave way to Bing Crosby in Top ‘O The Morning before Q hit oil with a winner.

Wanda Sykes. Of course.

The gal throws the kind of heat that will leave you shuddering. She has worked with so many of the very biggest in the biz; from Larry David and Eddie Murphy, to Chris Rock and Homer Simpson. And her talent never played second fiddle, to any of ’em. You just can’t upstage a five alarm fire such as hers. And not for nothing, but she’s a masterful comedic writer to boot. Signed. Sealed and delivered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroes Of The Week!

The world can be a mean and torturous place. It’s full of thankless and feckless and shameless souls who would like nothing more than to punch the light out of us. And I didn’t help myself any with my reading fare this week. The breaking news I coughed up might as well have been served to me in a beaker full of toxic waste. And the stuff I bookmarked to read later? Hells, it would have been better served as wallpaper in Edgar Allan Poe’s crypt, if the salty bastard had a crypt.

There were plenty of zeroes on the board over the past week and change, and I’m not referring to Bryce Harper’s 330 million dollar signing with the Phillies either. I mean, inking that check on a .250 hitter is enough to make Mickey Mantle crap in his dead pinstripes.

And while I’m on the subject of crap, it’s the entree being served up at 1600 Pennsylvania these days. This administration is offering up more denials than the executive producers of Real Housewives. 

Michael Cohen went before Congress and pulled Sammy Gravano out of his ass. Maybe it’s my old neighborhood talking, but I hate a rat. Even if this rat dished on some damaging shit that might come back to bite Trump. My thing is, Cohen was plenty fine working for this guy until he wasn’t. And I’m sorry, but principles ain’t like instant grits, so he can kiss mine.

As for the Dems choosing to have their coffee kaffeeklatsch with Cohen whilst El Comandante was in Vietnam breaking bad with the North Korean Supreme Leader formerly known as Dennis Rodman’s bestie? Welp, it’s not hero or zero . . it’s just shitty timing. Because Trump blamed the Cohen hearings for his epic fail of a summit. And the peeps who fall in line with him are plenty fine with this narrative, which makes it a fucking shame. Because if the House Oversight Committee had waited another couple weeks, Trump’s marshmallow retreat could have failed just the same . . and then they would’ve had a brutal one-two-three punch to dovetail that with. Consider this. The summit fizzles last week, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort gets sentenced this week . . and then Cohen. Three weeks . . three different news cycles.

I know I keep beating this drum, but we’re a year from pitchers and catchers as per the 2020 primaries. It’s time for the opposition party to work its long game.

That’s nuance, and it’s in shorter supply than iron chins in big time sports. If it ain’t Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant bitching about how everybody’s picking on them, it’s Kyler Murray’s agent, Erik Burkhardt moaning about all the shade his client is catching. As far as Irving and Durant are concerned, they want to be The Man but they don’t want to bear the cape. Sorry dudes, you work in a billion dollar industry that is gonna speculate and propagate on anything and everything. Addressing these questions IS part of your job. If y’all don’t like it? Go sell insurance. And to Burkhardt, I’d just say . . chill. Criticism is part of the process and not every scout is gonna kiss the kid’s ass. That’s life. Instead of bashing the messenger, Burkhardt should simply let Murray read the following scouting report on a quarterback out of Michigan.

Poor build, Skinny, Lacks great physical stature and strength, Lacks mobility and ability to avoid the rush, Lacks a really strong arm, Can’t drive the ball downfield, Does not throw a really tight spiral, System-type player who can get exposed if forced to ad lib, Gets knocked down easily

This was none other than Tom Brady’s report card in the lead up to the 2000 NFL draft. And yanno . . he did okay.

And speaking of okay, I got way better than that in the form of a dynamic duo of bloggers who bring me the sunshine on the rainiest days. Dale from A Dalectable Life and Cincy at A Frank AngleWhen these two ain’t making trouble, they’re actually digging for gold. And finding it. 

Frank shared the story of Sister Rose Ann Fleming. She was eleven when her mother passed away. Rather than crush her faith, it strengthened it. So much so that she knew she wanted to be a nun by the time she made it to high school. Her life became one of purpose and perseverance from there.

After graduating from Mount St. Joseph University in 1954, she traveled across Europe before entering the Sisters of Notre Dame convent. With a voracious appetite for knowledge, Fleming moved up the academic ladder quickly. From teacher to Superintendent to University President. Over the years she has accumulated three master’s degrees, a doctorate in education administration, as well as a law degree.

No one would have blamed such a brilliant soul if she would have gone another way with all her many accomplishments. But Fleming was always steadfast in her passion for teaching kids and representing those in need. She’s a literal Swiss Army knife at Xavier University- teacher, academic advisor, and special assistant to the President among her many titles.

Fleming was recently named a Great Living Cincinnatian by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. Lucky for them she kept her talents in Ohio . . .

Dale over at A Dalectable Life shared with me the story of twelve year old Thomas Moore. And lemme tell you, he’s the kid superheroes could be modeled after. He’s got the heart, the soul and a terrific head of hair.

When Moore was seven years old, he watched a video with his mother which featured Kyssi Andrews- a five year old girl who would eventually lose her battle with cancer. Thomas’s mother explained to him the ravages of chemotherapy, and how it oftentimes results in hair loss. That was all he needed to hear.

Thomas Moore, all seven years worth of kid, decided he was going to grow his hair out. Enough for two wigs is the way he figured it. And so for two years, he kept to the promise he’d made that day . . never minding his tender scalp or the pain he endured when he would have it braided. Until the day came to donate his labor of love, and it’s when he learned that two wigs? Wasn’t gonna happen, nope. It turns out, he had grown enough of that terrific hair of his to donate three wigs.

From the mouths and manes of babes come the answers to all the most important questions. And maybe all the smart guys and gals can take their cue from this super kid as they navigate all the trials and testimonies of this fiery age.

Let’s face it, the kid’s got a kick-ass long game.

 

 

 

Heroes of the Week!

Piano On the Moon

In this week’s edition of Heroes, Imma continue tinkering with the format. I’m ditching the top 5 of the week and just going with whatever articles of inspiration I come across, to the good and bad whilst leaving out anything that hints at indifferent.

Soooo, as the great Jimi Hendrix used to say . . All I’m gonna do is just go on and do what I feel . . . .

When I heard the news about Bob Kraft, I didn’t derive any satisfaction over the idea that the Patriots had suffered a missile strike in their dynastic complex. My first thought was of Alyssa Silva, the young lady whom I featured in a Heroes post along with Kraft earlier this month. Silva and Kraft are friends, and it hurt me to think how disappointed she must have been to hear the news.

A couple weeks ago, I learned that Alyssa Silva had read that special edition of Heroes I posted in honor of her and Bob Kraft. She said that my words helped her to break through a terrible rut she had been going through. The idea that a complete stranger might sing her praises as if a long lost friend provided her with inspiration when she needed it the most. I think of Alyssa and it reminds me there are no winners in this story.

People are going to whoop it up to the news about Kraft losing his happy ending to a dragnet, as if the details involved X’s and O’s rather than young girls. Their reaction to this episode speaks to the ignorance many Americans possess when it comes to the world of sex trafficking. As for Kraft, his arrogance is borne of power that makes him believe he can get away with just about anything. Sadly, Kraft’s brand and the headlines it garners will shield other big name power brokers who were involved in the investigation as well. Absolute power corrupts?

Absolutely it does.

That’s how power works, it’s a fluid dynamic whose symmetry is an illusory sustenance. Which is what LeBron James is learning right about now as his T-Minus is showing some cracks. After eight straight trips to the NBA finals, James’s team is currently in danger of not even making the postseason. It would be an extraordinary development, considering the expectations he brought with him from Cleveland.

He doesn’t ever have to win another playoff game to go down as the best player of his time. But umm . . he kinda branded himself the heavyweight champ of all time recently.

Nah.

Forget titles, scoring records or MVP’s . .  that ain’t why I won’t put James on my Mt Rushmore of the NBA. Nope, the reason he ain’t getting in there is because of his preening and moping and piss poor handling of coaches and teammates alike. When called on to lead, he hasn’t. When called on to finish, he can’t. He joined a young team with lots of potential, and he has them going in reverse.

He’s got a platinum brand, but Michael Jordan’s title is safe.

I’m sure if Richard Pryor were alive and reading my blog, he’d probably leave the same comment to every Heroes post I wrote up. He’d tell me that a hero ain’t nothing but a sandwich. Which would provide me with the perspective that was needed to keep on getting something out of the nothing of too many news cycles.

And sometimes, I wouldn’t have to look in order to find. As is the case with this walk off homer of a sendoff gifted to me by the lovely Dale over at A Dalectable Life.  I was bitching and moaning (I’m really good at it) about having bupkis in the brain for this week’s installment when she snuck me in some contraband from north of the border.

“It’s just a small Montreal story . . so I would understand if it didn’t make the cut,” She said.

Welp, this local story puts Kraft and LeBron and all their merry bands to shame with enough heart and soul to fix the planet up in neon, and send Timothy Leary in search of his Ray Bans. Because that’s what heroes do, they light up the darkest spaces.

Carey Price is a goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens, and if you’ve never heard of him before, you’re probably an American. And that’s alright, because Price is doing his thing without our help. He’ll never be the owner of the Patriots, or an NBA mogul. But he’s writing checks to a constellation that never minds all that jazz, so it’s all good.

Thanks to Montreal Canadien officials and the family of a boy named Anderson, dreams came true during the team’s morning skate recently. The boy’s mother lost her battle with cancer last year, but her echoes reverberate still. Because within these echoes, a promise was made from mother to son; a promise that she would arrange a meeting with him and Carey Price. The fact that she was taken from the world much too soon didn’t silence the heartbeat of that promise.

And so it was that Anderson met his boyhood idol, and in so doing they shined a light into that darkness. Price signed Anderson’s hockey sticks and hockey pucks and his hockey jersey and he gave the kid a hug. And if there is a sporting event known to man that feels as good and as compelling and as worth it as this minute and a half video of a kid and his hero? I want tickets . . front row.

To promises kept.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All That Glitters Isn’t Entertaining

Oscar Funny

I only watched a couple hours worth of Academy Awards the other night, and to be perfectly honest . . it was like watching C-Span. With beautiful people. Maybe it’s me, but the Oscars felt more lacking than the Baltimore Orioles lineup. There was less sizzle than a CPA’s black book. And if not for the lovely J. Lo making the scene, there wouldn’t have been a single boom.

The Queen opening I liked just fine. Adam Lambert has some pipes, and I must admit . . he ain’t in the same area code with Freddie. That is what I liked most of all, because I’m really quite possessive about the former Queen front man. You can cover his shit all you want, and that’s proper . . I respect it. But you’re not going to upstage the ultimate showman. And Lambert didn’t. I’m fine with that.

After that, I might as well have turned on Walking Dead. The fact they went with a self service hosting format thanks to the Kevin Hart imbroglio opened promisingly enough. Getting right to it rather than having to sit through a droning table setting dialogue book-ended by commercial breaks was a refreshing change of pace.

I wish I could tell you I have anything good to say about Sunday night after that, but I’d be lying harder than a Trump appointee. Okay . . yeah, there were moments. Like J. Lo rocking the (almost) century mark as if she is twenty something. And that duet with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga was a glorious fire. How can you not love that? Unless you’re Mrs. Bradley Cooper, that is. In which case, you went home and started divvying everything up whilst doing real estate searches.

I dig that Queen . .I mean Bohemian Rhapsody won four of the five awards they were up for. And I was really digging Spike Lee in those purple threads. And I dig that he finally won an award after forever. And I dig that a doc about menstrual cycles won, and that one of the peeps involved called it out as such. And I dig Samuel Jackson bringing some much needed coolness to the evening when he reported that the Knicks had finally won a game.

On the flip side, I didn’t dig what I believed to be a weak list of Academy Award nominees for Best Picture. And I didn’t dig how Spike Lee had to throw a tantrum after Green Book won. Come on man, grow the fuck up. This ain’t a Knicks game!  And I didn’t dig the trains . . I mean, what was up with all the trains? And hey, why did Charlize Theron answer all those trains by wearing a curtain? And I really didn’t dig how nobody got uber political. There were a few clever innuendos sprinkled in throughout the show but no blunt force trauma statements of revolution from the tyranny the District is presently under. Make no mistake, I would have been the first one to bitch about bringing politics into the mix. But it would have been fun! 

It’s like this. Sunday night’s Oscars were a preview of what this year’s NFL draft is going to look like. Heavy on the fundamentals but severely lacking in the disco department. I’m glad I tuned in, and even more glad I tuned out before the end. Hey John Bailey! . . Billy Crystal called.

He wants his Oscars back.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroes Of The Week!

Warhol Superman

Walking the Talk: I checked out a Vlog piece on Yahoo featuring former Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman. It’s a worthwhile education she lays down, in which she covers her sexual abuse at the hands of Dr. Larry Nassar; how the system treats victims of abuse and how some people feel that she should just stop talking about it and ‘move on’; as if this were a speeding ticket.

This young woman’s message struck such a chord with me that I actually tweeted her some encouraging words. Me! The gist of it was to keep talking about it, and to never stop talking about it. Because her courage is an inspiration to so many of the victims of abuse. And for those who don’t get it, well, they’re just never going to get it.

Aly was one of the greats of her sport. But as a human being, she has far exceeded all of her many achievements. By being true to herself and the countless others who once lived in the dark, she has provided a light. What a hell of a young woman, and a true hero of any week.

LeBron James ain’t getting Anthony Davis. Or Kyrie. Or Durant. No more team building and very likely, no more title runs for King James.

The Empire Strikes Hack: The big zero of my week is Jussie Smollett. The former star of Empire and any other gig in the foreseeable future.

I feel badly for this kid, who made an absolutely horrible choice and in so doing, has basically thrown away his career. But he did this to himself. And while he may not have stopped to consider the damage his stunt would incur, it’s quite evident. Because the world is divided enough without made up stories of racial attacks. Smollett has affected the wrong kind of change, at a time when we need the right kind, desperately.

His story had me shaking my head as soon as the MAGA stuff came out. I mean, show me the white conservatives who are hanging out in Chicago with rope and bleach at that hour. And please, show me the white conservatives who even know what the show ‘Empire’ is about. Puhleeze. When Al Sharpton chimes in by saying Smollett should be held accountable for making up a racially charged story, you know this thing has become a dumpster fire.

Roger Stone is a meme wrapped in a vine, inside a forgettable joke scrawled on the wall in a men’s restroom. 

Me, Myself and Why?- The ultimate diva Antonio Brown just keeps digging himself into a bigger hole. He’s ruined any chances of reconciliation with his current team, and now he’s laying waste to the field as well.

I was willing to give Brown the benefit of the doubt when this whole episode began. His quarterback does come off as a phony, not to mention a diva himself. And his coach does tend to run a loose ship. But Big Ben and Coach Tomlin can’t be blamed for most of the shit Brown has pulled before and since his trade demands. That’s on AB. Brown might yet luck into a marriage with Aaron Rodgers, in spite of himself. But my lasting image of the man has nothing to do with his achievements on the field. Nope, I’ll best remember him for how he accorded himself off it. What a dolt.

Did I dream that whole thing about El Chapo scoring the gig as host of the Oscars? 

And finally, a doubleheader to finish up this week’s installment of Heroes. Because the MLB doesn’t offer up the antiquated two games for one ticket price any longer, and it’s one of the many losses us fans have to bear.

Because in the span of a couple weeks, the game lost two of its stalwart members- Frank Robinson and Don Newcombe.

Frank Robinson hit 586 career home runs, which currently places him 10th on MLB’s all time list (7th on mine). He won Rookie of the Year with the Cincinnati Reds in 1956. He won an AL and an NL and a World Series MVP. He was a Triple Crown winner, a Gold Glove winner, a 14 time all star and a two time World Champion. In 1974, Robinson became the first black manager when the Cleveland Indians named him their player/manager. After his playing days, he went on to manage the San Francisco Giants and then the Baltimore Orioles, where he won AL Manager of the Year honors in 1989. He was a first ballot Hall of Famer in 1982.

Don Newcombe began his career with the Newark Eagles of the Negro League before being released from his contract in order to sign with Branch Rickey’s Brooklyn Dodgers. Newcombe made his pro debut in 1949, becoming the third black pitcher to pitch in the majors. He proceeded to win 17 games while leading the league in shutouts while helping the Dodgers win the pennant. He won Rookie of the Year honors for his efforts. Newcombe was an integral part of Brooklyn’s first and only World Championship in 1955, when they took down the mighty Yankees in seven games. A year later, he would win twenty seven games and the Cy Young Award.

Newcombe could turn a baseball into a vitamin and make the fiercest hitter swallow it whole. While Robinson could take a one way ticket fastball and quickly turn it into a round trip. Their talent resulted in plenty of hardware, and an abiding respect among their peers. But their baseball lives didn’t stop there. The two men remained inextricably linked to the game they loved until their final days. Today’s players owe a tremendous debt to these two men, one that could never be repaid. Robinson and Newcombe always played down their struggles as young players in a racially divided culture where many still considered them outsiders. They overcame every obstacle and they changed the game for the better. Theirs was the power of dreams come to life. And the passing of these two giants brings to mind a quote by Homer. And what he greatly thought, he nobly dared. 

Says it all.