Final August Totals
Shot & Killed: 81
Shot & Wounded: 401
Total Shot: 482
Total Homicides: 91
Week in Progress (8/28 – 9/3)
Shot & Killed: 13
Shot & Wounded: 67
Total Shot: 80
Total Homicides: 13
Down to 3 teams left. The Cleveland Indians, led by Terry Francona’s superb managing, dusted off the Sox and Jays to get to the Series. His use of Andrew Miller out of the bullpen should be put into a textbook and distributed to all managers as required reading.
Milton’s very own Rich Hill dominated the Titanic like Cubs the other night. The boys from Chicago now look very beatable versus southpaws and, gulp, still must face Clayton Kershaw and Hill in upcoming games. Good luck with that! We’ll discuss the Series next week (:
As has been predicted here and other places, the NFL is beginning, slowly, what I predict to be a long slow decline. Why? Well there are several reasons actually.
First is the serious situation of concussions. Football is a dangerous sport. Much more so than we assumed when I was a young linebacker coming up through the ranks. Parents, especially moms, are not registering their kids into youth football/high school football programs. This is acutely true in middle-class and upper middle-class households. Who, by the way, are the most important demographic for the League. Poor people play, they don’t pay.
Second, NFL football is an expensive venture. I am guessing $500 bills for 1 Sunday afternoon at the stadium to root for your favorite team. That figure is based on a family of 4 sitting in average at best seats. With the advent of HD TV, home pizza ovens, and all the other gadgets now available well, yeah, the sofa seems like the better option. The League cannot survive with half empty stadiums.
Third, the last couple of seasons have produced a bad product on the field. People are turning the knob as well. The introduction of services such as Netflix allow for plenty of options beside Jacksonville V. Cleveland. The League cannot survive without gigantic TV deals. Next week I’ll provide several reasons for the decline in play and talent.
Is Back! Love hockey. Now that I have the NHL Network I can also get a better feel for the pulse of the League. Lots of exciting young guns looking to make their mark. Toronto’s Auston Matthews, a good California boy, is flat out exciting at 19 years of age with all the talent to rise to a Sid Crosby level. Plus the cagey veterans still populate the rink! Florida’s 37 year old Roberto Luongo is still prowling in the crease & patrolling it well!! And does anybody want to mess with 38 year old Big Bad Bruin Zdeno Chara? I thought not. Should be another exciting year!!
On the way! In many respects this year could be a yawner. Kevin Durant has taken his talents to the Bay area and it is unlikely anybody in the West can challenge the Golden State Warriors. Lebron still suits up for Cleveland in a rather pathetic East so we can expect a repeat of the last two seasons in the Finals.
But there are other story lines. First, the Boston Celtics are on the rise! Loaded with young talent, a bevy of tasty draft picks in the bank, savvy veterans such as Al Horford, Jae Crowder, and 5’11 wonder Isiah Thomas, the men in Green will make some noise this year. Plus, how much fun will it be to watch Durant share the court and ball with players such Curry & Thompson. For a basketball purist this should be like Christmas 3 times a week. I’ll watch.
Texas A&M (+18) at Alabama, 3:30 p.m. ET: Look, Nick Saban’s Alabama is becoming one of sport’s great dynasties. We’ll be talking about these champions decades from now. But for this Saturday I smell an upset. A&M has a steady veteran QB, a good coach, and some talent. Can they win? Not sure. Can they make it a game? Yes. Take the points & run…
Purdue (+24) at Nebraska, 3:30 p.m. ET: Purdue Sucks! I mean a very bad football team. Mike Riley, one of sport’s good guys, has a top ten team. But they’re not a team that puts up video game points. My guess 37-17 Huskers which will pocket me some Beer Laos money.
Buffalo (-3) at Miami o/u 43.5 1p.m. ET: This could be a really good game. Rex has the Bills playing well & Miami under new leadership is a work in progress. Part of that progress was a beatdown versus a very good Steelers squad last week. Then again, the Bills trot out T. Taylor at QB opposite Ryan Tannehill. So how good can it get, right? I’ll take the under here & Miami as a home dog. Pencil me in for a 20-17 Fins victory.
That is it! Have an awesome Sports Weekend!!
Finally, October has arrived. For Baseball that means it is money time. For the NFL, the crazy unpredictable part of the season is over. By the end of this month we’ll know the contenders from the pretenders. College Football will remain wonky. But that’s what we love about their frenetic season.
Let us begin with awards. Then on to playoff predictions. AL MVP: Mike Trout. I know I know! His team sucked so how valuable could he be? ‘What about Big Papi? No Love for Mookie?’ my Boston friends are screaming. I am going with the best player in the game argument here. AL Cy Young: Rick Porcello. Never argue with 22-4. There Boston calm down. AL ROY: Surprise pick here! Gary Sanchez from the Yanks. This kid went yard 20+ times over a 50 game stretch, put hope in Yankee fans everywhere about a Wild Card berth, then went cold as the BoSox snuffed the life out of the Bombers season. Give that kid some hardware.
As for the National League we’ll go with Kris Bryant for NL MVP. Hits for power, flashes glove, nice average & ops. Some say the next Mike Schmidt. High praise! Staying ChiTown for the CY as my vote goes to Jon Lester. This really is up in the air. If you go with Max Scherzer I’m ok. Jon’s tasty era swings it for me. NL ROY: Corey Seager from the Dodgers. Easiest vote of the night!
Post Season Predictions!
BoSox V. Indians: Sox in 5. Love them sticks! Jays V. Rangers: Not sold on the team from Texas. Best team in a weak division. The Al East was brutal. Tough games night in night out. Give me the Jays in 4 to set up an all AL East Championship set.
St. Francis V. ChiTown: Picking the big upset! Giants in 5. Huge odds make for a tasty play & pay day. Nats V. Dodgers: Awesome time for Bryce Harper to earn that superstar reputation. Does Clay really turn to dust in October. Nice story-lines here. Nats in 5…
Oh boy did I like what I saw out of the Washington Huskies last week in a 37-6 drubbing of sturdy Stanford. Make no mistake, Stanford is good! The Dubbs smoked them. In a nutshell, the Huskies have a big time, see you on Sundays, QB. The Cardinals do not. Sometimes it’s that simple.
Sat in football heaven watching Clemson come back and beat Louisville. Great play on the field by 2 well coached teams. Oh yeah, some sweet talent to coach! Both these teams can compete for the National title.
Not so sweet: Texas V. Oklahoma…The Red River Rivalry! Both teams look limp, uninspired, and lacking top level talent. I do like Baker Mayfield, OU QB, & actually feel sorry for him. He’ll play on Sundays and he can be on my team. Charlie Strong, who I like, is on his way out as the Longhorns coach. Gotta win or out you go. Sooners head coach Stoops is safe. I still don’t trust him in a big game. Oh, by the way, don’t you dare lay some coin on this game. It’ll ruin your weekend.
I hate September! Terrible betting month. The Patriots bailed me out. I even picked up some cash on their 1 loss. But now in October we’ll begin to see some clarity.
Tom is Back! In what will go down as one of the gross miscarriages of justice in the 21st Century, Tom is back on the field. Back on the field with his 1st place team ready to wreak Belichickean havoc on the league.
Philadelphia, Wentzlvania! The number 2 selection in the draft from North Dakota State looks like the real deal. Its early! But getting that franchise quarterback is like starting a love affair. Even the imperfections are cute. The heart flutters. Is this the one? Way to go Philly! I’m rooting for the both of you!!
|Bama @ Arkansas +14 I’ll go with the home dawgs getting 2 touchdowns!|
2. Did I say that Tom is Back? NE @ Cleveland +10…My pick: Pats 30- Browns 1
What Do I Think?
I Think Colin Kapernick will do 1 thing this weekend. He’ll get paid close to 1 million dollars to do it. He will get applauded for doing this. People will call him brave, a difference maker, a leader for social change. Others will castigate him. Call him unpatriotic, ungrateful, a disgrace to his uniform. I fall into neither camp. He certainly has the right to do take a knee during the National Anthem. In fact, to deny him this right is unpatriotic. And the people hurling the verbal abuse also have the right to voice their displeasure. His team, the 49ers, also have the right to keep him on the sidelines or, if they choose, off the sidelines. Companies have the right to dump him as a pitch man if they feel his stance, or kneel, does not fit with the corporate image they want to portray. Most of all, I wish people would stop discussing it.
I Think Bill Belichick is the greatest coach to ever pace the sidelines. Tom Brady unjustly suspended for 4 games. No Problem. Next Man Up, Just Do Your Job, is the Patriot Way. Jimmy G & Co. roll into heavily favorite and Super Bowl 2017 darling Arizona Cardinals. 23-21, thank you very much & maybe we’ll see you come February. Jimmy G Rolling and ripping the Dolphins last Sunday for 3 touchdown passes in the 1st half. 28-0 & then Jimmy takes a tumble. Next Man Up! Jacoby Brisset. Yeah, me too. Dude just ripped through a talented Houston Texans squad. You bet, everybody just Did Your Job.
Major League Baseball
What a week for the Boys from Boston. Two consecutive sweeps over divisional rivals, an 8 game winning streak, and the BoSox have put the Al East Division away with 9 games to go.
The divisions, in both leagues are wrapped up. But the wild card races are both intriguing. I say St. Louis & Saint Francis in the NL & Toronto & Detroit in the AL. I’ll give my Playoff predictions next Friday.
Jon Lester, one of my favorite ballplayers, is staking a claim to the NL Cy Young award. 8 consecutive wins with an ERA hovering around 1. Sensational!
Jay Bruce! The NY Mets gave up some precious assets to acquire the Slugging Bruce from the Reds. It has been over a month and Jay looks lost. He is hitting a buck forty since the trade. I like Jay. A good ballplayer! But having a bad time for a slump as the Mets look to play into October. Not to mention, one of the prospects they gave up, Max Wotell, has a chance to be a top of the rotation type of starter.
The National Football League
Look it’s early. Not the time to get too high about your team nor too low. The L. A. Rams have proven that. 8 quarters of play & 9 points. Still, they sit at 1-1. Crazy game! Want to hear something really crazy. The Buffalo Bills are off to a miserable 0-2 start. Their defense is border line pathetic. But, the ‘O’ has put up a few points. A bright spot, right? Mr. Saturday Night Rex Ryan sensed an opportunity to shake things up and right the ship. So, naturally, he goes and fires the Offensive Coordinator. Go figure. But, when you dig deeper, it makes perfect sense. Greg Roman, the coach in question, probably would have been the first person the owner would have looked to if he decided to can Rex. Rex ‘Machiavelli’ Ryan is good!
The two teams, in my estimation, you can get too ‘high’ on are Pittsburgh and New England. Well coached, great QB’s, Gronk on one side & Antonio Brown on the other, add up to Super Bowl worthy. Only one can go. We’ll see in January.
Bama, Ohio State, & everybody else. The SEC is not that good. Don’t believe the hype. Bama, on the other hand, is one of Sports all time great dynasty. Props to Nick Saban! Urban Meyer also has 3 championships on his resume and can stand proudly alongside salty Nick. I’d love to see this as the National Championship game!!
Time for Heisman talk. For me it comes down to Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Stanford’s Christian McCaffery. We’ll put Jackson in the #1 slot as of now. Last week’s performance against FSU was otherworldly. But the ACC sucks so he’ll have only a few marquee games remaining to shine. On the other hand, McCaff has a tough matchup week in week out in the more prestigious Pac 12. He’ll start tomorrow with against rough and tumble UCLA.
Picks For The Week
I have been less than stellar so far this year. But, my Patriots have more than kept me afloat and, in fact, I am well in the black. Pats minus 1.5 at home? Vegas, you should be ashamed of yourself. That being said, Vegas cleaned up last weekend and I was part of the debris. On to the games:
1. No. 20 Nebraska Cornhuskers at Northwestern Wildcats (Under 48.5): I don’t see a high scoring affair here. This has the makings of a 23-17 contest in Nebraska’s favor. I’ll take the under.
3. 49ers at Seahawks (Opening line: Seahawks -11) I picked this game early in the week. The line trended down to 9 but has since crept up to 10 on Caesar’s window. Either way I’m happy . Russel Wilson is banged up behind a bad offense line. 49ers are a bit frisky too. Oh, the Seahawks just lost to a bad Rams team 9-3. Just take the points!!
That’s it! Enjoy the games!!
The Sports Page:
My favorite season of the year is upon us. Both weather wise and sports wise. Baseball is getting down to the nitty gritty and Football is just about ready for kick-off.
MLB 2016 has been a whodunnit. The only team to run away with a division has been the Chicago Cubs. I am lovin’ me some Cubbies this year. From the executive stewardship of Theo Epstein to the on-field generalship of Joe Maddon to soldiers such as Jon Lester, Kris Bryant, & Anthony Rizzo this squad has the potential to end 111 years of futility. That is correct, no not a misprint, 111 years.
My beloved Red Sox are back in the mix after 2 years of non-contention. Uber-talented with young stars & prospects chipping in on a daily basis. Mookie Betts MVP? David ‘Big Papi’ Ortiz is having a season for the ages as he eyes retirement & Dustin ‘Little Papi’ Pedroia is the solid steady as you go Captain. Just don’t get me talking about the ‘train wreck’ that the 8th inning has become.
I am rooting for a 2016 World Series featuring the Sox & Cubs. I am also cheering for 112!!
NFL 2016 is ready to kick-off without its most heralded player who, it seems, was ‘generally aware’ something amiss was happening with the air pressure in game balls. The NFL League Office, it seems, isn’t so familiar with science or the ideal gas law. Whatever, Tommy will miss the first 4 games of the season because, well, Goodell says so. On other League news, the punter for the New York Football Giants, apparently is a serial wife abuser. Police had been summoned to his house over 20 times over the last few years on domestic abuse complaints. She has since left this thug and only the ugly photos can speak to her situation. Brown has been suspended for 1 game by Goodell showing where his priorities lay.
Things to bet on: The over/under for N.E. Patriots victories this year is 10.5. Jump on the over. Lets put it this way: If you had bet 1,000 USA on Patriots over from 2001 -2015 your winnings would be able to net you a nice 2016 car. Don’t think about this one. Next, First coach to be fired: Vegas says 30-1 on Jeff Fisher. I say jump in! The man is a walking 7-9 record. I mean each and every year we hear how good a coach this dude is and what talent they have and still, at the end of the day, we are looking at 7-9. And still, this man has held a coveted head coaching gig for the last 20 years. He did have that one Super Bowl run in 1999 I guess. The Rams have moved back to Los Angeles however. The lights don’t shine brighter. If they stumble out of the gate look for Stan K., the owner, to cut ties and make a big splash of a hire. Jon Gruden? Bring the Guden snarl out of the booth!! You heard it here first.
Finally, Super Bowl Prediction: N.E. Patriots v. Green Bay Packers…Brady (one for the thumb) v. Rodgers…Doesn’t get much better than that.
Chicago: What a Town!
Shite! Scroll over these Stats!!
Final August Totals
Shot & Killed: 81
Shot & Wounded: 401
Total Shot: 482
Total Homicides: 91
Week in Progress (8/28 – 9/3)
Shot & Killed: 13
Shot & Wounded: 67
Total Shot: 80
Total Homicides: 13
Year to Date
Shot & Killed: 447
Shot & Wounded: 2455
Total Shot: 2902
Total Homicides: 495
Let me begin by applauding the efforts of the Black Lives Matter movement. A voice, a unified one at that, is needed to address certain inequities that do exist. BLM has done that. But if they are only focused on one slice of the issue, Police v. Black, then their argument loses steam. The statistics listed above are overwhelming accrued from black Chicago neighborhoods. Cannot lay it on the police in this case. Trust me, you don’t want to relocate to Englewood or Austin. Yet BLM has been largely silent. Ok. There is probably a fundraising wing of this organization and the issue of Black on Black crime most likely does not push up the bottom line.
Ah yes, politics. I wouldn’t expect a Republican outcry on this issue as they have little to no presence in Chicago politics. This is a Dem stronghold. Rahm Emmanuel, the City’s Mayor, is a National disgrace. Even in ChiTown his approval numbers have not risen above 36% in over 2 years. But he is a Clinton & Obama insider having served both administrations. He was recently re-elected as Mayor despite being embroiled in several scandals. Yet he managed to corral 56.5% of the vote. I’ll let you figure out that equation.
As the statistics above imply, this is akin to a war-zone for the good, decent, & hardworking people that make up the majority of these communities. And as the body count rises government officials remain silent. Most conspicuously Hillary Clinton. The one obvious response was holding Rahm at arms length at the Democratic National Convention where he otherwise would have been expected to play a major role.
Obama too rarely references these troubling events on the streets where he first gained notoriety as a community leader and organizer. His kids can go twerk at Lollapalooza but they sure as hell ain’t going to be smoking a blunt in Garfield Park. Yet Barry did give a well received speech from Garfield Park on his historic run to the White House. “Garfield Park serves as a beacon of how hard-working and decent people can come together in the name of community…”
Ah Chicago, I wish you all the best in tackling this issue when all have seemed to abandon you. Note to the Cubbies, if this is the year you end your historic drought, do avoid North Lawndale on the parade route.
Old Ways by Neil Young has caught my ear over the past few days. For many it is his worst album. And, in fact, his recording company at the time, Geffen Records, would probably agree. They sued him around the time of this 1985 release for its non-commercial and decidedly country feel. Ah the ’80’s! But it wasn’t simply the suits, Neil’s fans ran away in droves about as fast as one can upon listening to this new phase of his career. For me, Neil’s nadir has always held a soft spot for me. The songs, while leaning country, have a distinct Neil feel and with Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings it also veers into another interesting direction. Songs, genre defying, such as “Misfits,” which portrays astronauts watching Muhammad Ali fights on television in space add a quirky and very Neil quality to the whole undertaking.
Look, if this is Neil at his worst, then he’s had one hell of a career!
Creed is the latest installment in the Rocky Series. Boy oh boy does it pack a punch. Michael B. Jordan is a fresh new face and takes on the role of Apollo Creed’s illegitimate son confidently. Sly Stallone brings the Rock into his senior years with dignity. In his best role since Copland, I was stunned to learn he did not take home an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. No spoiler alert here. If you are a fan of this franchise as I am, then check Creed out ASAP.
The Final Elbow
Next Month I’ll take a look at the final days of the Obama Presidency. I voted for him twice, really like the man, so will try to provide an objective analysis. I will also look ahead to the upcoming Clinton Administration. Now this will be fun! Scandals, CGI, Huma, DNC staffer’s being gunned down in the streets of D.C., homebrew servers, shady Russian relations, you name it Billary will bring it.
See you in October & hope September is a gas!
Hot Wife Theory:
Look around the world today. So much bad and bizarre shit going down. Facebook has become such a bummer as everyone has their own take on everything from police violence, the presidential campaign, middle east conflict, financial doom and gloom, and whatever other hot take issue which comes to the fore. And they are right. Always! And if you do not agree not only are you wrong, but you are stupid and quite possibly evil. Judging from my observations people today are so passionate and spew their ideology like a fire and brimstone preacher of the Puritan age.
I tend to steer clear of such debates. Too much going on in my life. Too many irons in the fire. And a hot wife never too far away. It is rather difficult to get overly worked up about the abominable Trump or the corrupt Hillary when I have a hot wife snuggling close on the couch.
So, my advice readers, no matter which side of the plate you are batting, is to drop all the political and social bullshit and focus on your own life. Start with Hot Wife Theory! It works!!
“May none but honest and wise Men ever rule under this roof,” John Adams wrote Abigail almost 216 years ago as he became the 2nd United States President. Well certainly there is precious little of either with Clinton and Trump. Which brings us to a disturbing fact. In 1800 the fledgling little democracy had roughly 200,000 citizens. Among them were such luminaries as Adams, Sam and John, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Hancock, and the list goes on. Today America has swelled to over 350 million and well you get the message.
Correction: In 1800 there were more than 5 million people living in the United States. Of this figure more than 800,000 were slaves. Only white land owning people over the age of 18 were permitted to vote which is where the figure of 200,000 (roughly) is derived. Thank you to Kevin Cummings, good friend & reader, for highlighting my poorly penned assertion.
Still, to harken back to my main point; while this trend is disturbing I can still employ Hot Wife Theory and now fondly gaze at a photo on my desk. Voila, All is Good!
I have watched a couple of movies over the past few weeks. Black Mass & Trumbo. Both are worth your time.
Johnny Depp supplies a highly subtle performance as James ‘Whitey’ Bulger the famed South Boston crime boss. Bulger was a vicious criminal and it was nice to see the director, Scott Cooper, resist the temptation to glamorize what was a brutal crime syndicate known as the Winter Hill Gang. The ensemble cast of Black Mass lends a depth to this production. Every line spoken, every foot of film, is delivered and occupied by a quality actor or actress. Kevin Bacon is in a minor role which should inform you on that point. ****
Trumbo also delivers a punch in recounting the carnage of the McCarthy era and the undemocratic attack on people’s rights and civil liberties. The story is told through trials and tribulations of Dalton Trumbo. Trumbo was perhaps Hollywood’s leading screenwriter of the 1940’s before being sent to jail for failing to cooperate with the Senate committee on un-American activities and then blacklisted. Perhaps the most interesting, enlightening, and even uplifting part of the movie was recounting his struggling career during this blacklist period. Good Movie, Great Story, Nice Cast! ****
The Sports Page:
It has been a while since I have paid much interest in the Olympic Games. Too much corruption, politics, & doping. But that does not deter me from recognizing the true genius and talent of some of these magnificent athletes. Names such as Comaneci, Spitz, Retton, Jenner, Sugar Ray, Lewis color my youth and early adulthood. And now names such as Usain, Phelps, Gabby, Simone can take their rightful place among their legendary Olympic peers. Magnificent performances and congratulations to you all.
That’s it for August and I’ll try to be better next time. See you in September!
Amid Deepening Investigation…
A headline such as this can be seen in the United States every few weeks now. In this case, a one Micah Xavier Johnson is under the microscope. You know, the Dallas shooter. Not the Orlando nightclub shooter. I, along with most of the public, have already forgotten that shooter’s name and Micah’s name will also fade quickly enough as we move to the sure to come next massacre. Micah wanted to “Kill white people.” The Orlando man wanted to “Kill gays.” And they did. With ease.
No need for a gun ban rant here. The United States now has a firmly entrenched political class. It is a nice class to be in. The pay is sweet. The overriding rule that guides this class is to get re-elected. Every two, four, or six years depending on your situation. Elections are expensive. Luckily there are sponsors who will foot the bill. For a fee of course. The NRA is one such group. But there are many others. You may not want them on your side, but you sure as hell don’t want them to actively oppose you. Better to be quiet. So a deal has been made. One with murderous consequences yet a deal to be kept none the less.
And the public is fine with it. Most Americans have shunned the public square. Oh, some will rant and rave on Facebook spouting opinions delivered to them from their spanking new High Def TV. It will be patently liberal or conservative and penned with conviction. No opposing views will be entertained because the ‘other’ side is either evil, stupid, or, in most cases, both.
Perhaps 40% of the public will show up to the polls on election day but most come with little conviction nowadays. Even the FB lot. So the political class goes about it’s business, keeping up appearances when necessary. “We need to take action head on to defeat (fill in the blank) or “Guns don’t kill people, people do.” These quotes, easily found in newspapers throughout the land, are dismissed by many. But they are apparently successful. Most elections have a 90% success rate for incumbents. 80% is akin to a political upheaval.
So the America of today is America normal. Get used to it. Don’t despair. Perhaps a new generation possessed of compassion, ideals, and integrity will emerge from the rubble of crass commercialism, corruption, and deception as best exemplified by Hillary & Trump. Can’t get any worse I suppose.
The Hillary Administration
Or can it? Actually, I am really starting to warm to the idea of Hill as POTUS. This administration could be the most wild ride of excess, corruption, ineptitude and public deceit that will make the decaying corpse of Richard Millhouse Nixon crack a smile. Where to start? How about the Clinton Global Initiative! Bill is wheeling and dealing like a Roman emperor. Absolutely loved the way he stepped onto the tarmac and made the Hill’s homebrew server fiasco disappear. That was lay your dick on the table moment. Bubba’s still got clout. And oh the ladies dig power. Bill is back. And so am I.
Other intriguing dramas await as well. Who pulls the first Vince Foster? Can this story be too far off: “Clinton aide (fill in name) tragically had a boating accident off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard yesterday evening…” Huma, don’t go anywhere near Chappaquiddick! Trust me on this, girl.
And isn’t this what America really deserves? Isn’t this what we really want? I am all in! Scandals, unexplained deaths, corruption on epic levels! It is better than House of Cards and you know it, want it, need it
The Parent Trap
Went new car shopping the other day. Took my 7 year old daughter. I loved going new car shopping with my dad and this was Megan’s first rodeo. “What should I do?” she asked. “Your job is to pick out the color,” I replied. Her eyes lit up! We went first to the Mitsubishi dealership. I walked around from model to model. Meggie took to her job enthusiastically. I then sat down at the table to negotiate a price. The finance man set to his calculator and engaged with what seemed to be a significant equation to arrive at a ‘fair’ sum for my trade in. I looked at Meg. “How about the color?”
She leaned back in her chair, took a sip from the cocoa, and sighed. “This is going to be tougher than I thought, Dad.”
“Really. How so?” I asked a bit intrigued.
“They don’t have pink!”
I held my relief close. Just as a tip for all young parents, be careful when you assign your kid with a seemingly benign task. Not sure if I believe in fate, but when we left the dealership and headed off to check out Ford the first song that came on was Bruce’s Pink Cadillac.
The Sports Page
Congrats to LeBron & the Cavs! Cleveland’s first championship since the days of Jim Brown. It was an epic Finals performance for a player who has earned the right to be in the conversation with Larry Legend, Magic, & Michael. I came across an interesting story just the other day. The conversation centered around the greatest team ever. Magic pounded the table for his ’87 Lakers. Larry steadfastly maintained his ’86 Celtics would have beaten any challenger. Well, here’s an excerpt:
The flurry of protests continued, with five of the greatest players in NBA history [Bird, Johnson, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing] sparring over their own place in basketball history. Magic was indignant at the suggestion that the best team could be anyone other than his 1987 Lakers, the team he had determined was the finest of his title years. Larry was steadfast that his ’86 Celtics squad was beyond compare.
“Put me with Kareem, James Worthy, Coop [Michael Cooper] and Byron Scott, and we’ dominate your Bulls team,” Magic claimed.
Barkley was about to chime in again, but Bird, taking a slug of his beer, shot his hand up.
“Quiet,” Bird said. “Charles, you ain’t won anything. You’re out of this discussion. Ahmad [Rashad, who was covering the 1992 Olympics for NBC], same thing. You’re gone. Patrick, you don’t have any championships either, so you need to shut up and sit down right here and learn some things.”
Barkley, subdued by the unfortunate reality of his basketball résumé, wandered off. Ewing, who had once considered Bird a bitter adversary but would develop an unusual kinship with him during their Olympic experience, dutifully sat on the bench next to his new friend.
Clearly, LeBron can chime in!
Kevin Durant is now off to a phenomenal Golden State Warrior team. He wants in on the conversation highlighted above. Some have criticized him for not sticking it out and building his own championship squad in Oklahoma City. Lets see, be young rich and famous in the Bay Area or in Oklahoma City. Seems like an easy choice to me.
It is All Star Week! This has been a stellar MLB season so far. The Chicago Cubs are out to end a 100+ year championship drought. The Boston Red Sox are stocked with young talent that is coming together at the same time while gray beard David ‘Big Papi’ Ortiz is having a final season for the ages. Young Studs like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper harken back to those legendary Boys of Summer days of yore when Mantle & Mays patrolled the outfield. Clayton Kershaw remains otherworldly and the Yankees suck. Yes, there is much to celebrate!! I look forward to the remainder of the season which should almost guarantee a great October Classic!!
Hollywood for the last decade or so has been more about bringing comic books to life than creating thoughtful and provocative fare. However, I did come across a movie the other night that is exactly that. Prisoners is a 2013 film starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. The story revolves around Jackman’s daughter and a friend being kidnapped. It is a powerful film and the two stars give powerful performances. Jackman’s is especially evoking as he explores the depths a father will go to bring his child back to safety. Gyllenhaal as well digs deep to give a thoughtful and measured performance as the detective assigned to the case. Directed by Denis Villeneuve this movie has a nice pace allowing the plot to develop while letting the actors explore their well drawn out characters. Highly recommended!
The funny thing is that this film was also highly successful. Made on a budget of 35 milion it has, to date, grossed more than 130 million. Or about what it cost to make Spiderman 17.
Pictured above I am standing with a dear friend who has been taken from us this year. Mama Noi was one of a kind and someone whose memory will not fade quietly. I am currently writing a novel titled The Beauty of Isaan about her life and times. The kernel of the story was hatched from a short story of the same name that can be read in Kevin S. Cummings iconic book Bangkok Beat which can be purchased here: https://www.amazon.com/Bangkok-Beat-Kevin-Cummings/dp/0692396454
That is it for now! I’ll try to be more interesting next time. Have a great July!!