Monthly Archives: February 2023

Not so nostalgic for Mardi Gras

I apologize for not posting anything for so long. Then again, there wasn’t much to write about except the stupid Chiefs, who had their stupid little parade last week.

It was Mardi Gras two days ago. Not that it mattered much to me.
The last parade I went to was the Krewe of Thoth the Sunday before Mardi Gras 1994 (13 February). I knew a few of the men riding in the parade. Those men are still riding in it 29 years later. It would be the only parade I would consider attending if I ever went back to my native city for Mardi Gras.
Thoth is the longest parade within the city of New Orleans. It starts further upriver (west) than every other one, commencing at the corner of State Street and Tchoupitoulas (pronounced CHOP-it-oolas) Street near the Mississippi River. It proceeds lakebound (north) on Henry Clay Avenue, downtown bound (east) on Magazine Street, lakebound (north) on Napoleon Avenue, then downtown bound (east) on St. Charles Avenue, the main route for every parade in the city except Endymion, which parades in a different neighborhood.
The reasoning behind its starting point is to bring a parade to many who cannot attend parades.. Thoth takes in several group home as well as Children’s Hosptial, one of the best pediatric facilities in the United States.
When I attended Thoth for three years (1992-94), the parade started at Henry Clay and Magazine, went south on Henry Clay, turned onto Tchoupitoulas, went east to State, then north on State to Magazine, where it followed the current route.
I stood at the corner of Henry Clay and Tchoupitoulas. When the float carrying the men I knew came by, I was bombarded by beads, doubloons, cups and assorted other trinkets. I got pushed by more than a few kids for the cheap stuff. My dad, who was with me for the first two of those parades, just said “let them have it”, and I agreed.
I went to Rex, King of Carnvial, in 1991 and ‘92. Nothing to write home about. Everyone should see it once, but after that, take it or leave it.
I saw Endymion, which is the largest krewe in terms of members and floats, a few times in the 1990s. I wasted my timeevery time.
I never attended Bacchus, which is the Sunday night before Mardi Gras. Too many people. Way too dangerous, as evidenced by a shooting at this year’s parade which left one dead and four injured.
And I never, ever dared venture to the French Quarter. I didn’t go to the Quarter much during my time living in Louisiana, and certainly not during Mardi Gras.
There are things I miss about Louisiana. Mardi Gras isn’t one of them.

Another thing I don’t miss is the Kansas high school wrestling state tournaments.
Kansas can’t get all of its grapplers under a single roof like Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska and several other states. Instead, the boys are split between three locations and the girls at two.
It would not be hard to put six to eight mats on the floor at Bramalage Coliseum at Kansas State or Koch Arena at Wichita State (it is not practical for Allen Fieldhouse due to its construction) and hold the tournament over three or four days.
Instead, Kansas only wants to hold it for two days and forces fans to sometimes choose one site or the other.
I haven’t covered events since the spring of 2015. I don’t miss it one bit. It has meant a lot less stress for everyone. I don’t need any more stress given my myriad of health issues.

Take the Super Bowl and shove it

I have turned all my devices to airplane mode. No Super Bowl updates for me. I’m calling it a night before 2030.

I cannot stand the Chiefs. I cannot stand the Chiefs. I cannot stand the Chiefs.
I despise Patrick Mahomes. I despise Patrick Mahomes. I despise Patrick Mahomes.
I really despise Brittany Mahomes. I really despise Brittany Mahomes. I really despise Brittany Mahomes.

My schedule has me in Kansas City AGAIN starting Wednesday afternoon. That was scheduled a long time ago. I’ll be sure not to wear red.

Don’t choke, Eagles. DON’T CHOKE, EAGLES!

I refuse to bow down to “King James”

As of late last night, LeBron James is the National Basketball Association’s all-time leading scorer, breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s (nee Lew Alcindor) record of 38.387 points.
I don’t give a crap.

I hate LeBron James. I’m not ashamed to say it. I hate LeBron James. I hate him as much as I hate any athlete, past or present.
I got sick and tired of seeing him when he was a senior at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s High School in Akron. ESPN televised many of James’ games during the 2002-03 season, when the hype for his entry into the NBA exceeded the hype for any basketball player.
You think Bird and Magic got too much publicity when they played each other in the 1979 NCAA championship game? You think Jordan got too much publicity after leading North Carolina to the 1982 national championship?
The hype for those three paled in comparison to the man who was called “King James” as a sophomore at SVSM.
During the 2002-03 season, teams outside the NBA’s elite, tanked hard in order to get the most ping-pong balls for the number one pick in the draft lottery and the right to select LeBron.
As fate would have it, the NBA franchise less than an hour north on Interstate 77, the Cleveland Cavaliers, won the lottery. King James’ castle would be Quicken Loans Arena.
James improved Cleveland exponentially during his early years, turning a perennial doormat into a playoff contender. The Cavs reached the NBA Finals for the first time in 2007, but James’ team was no match for the mighty Spurs of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, and San Antonio won their fourth championship in four games.
It wouldn’t be the last time
James kept the Cavaliers among the NBA’s elite during the next three seasons, but they could not return to the NBA Finals, falling short vs. the Celtics in 2008, the Magic in 2009, and Boston again in 2010.
As the Celtics and Lakers headed for yet another NBA Finals showdown, LeBron James was plotting a move, one which earned him plenty of scorn, and rightly so.

My dislike for James became deep-seated hatred when he colluded with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh to sign with the Miami Heat in the summer of 2010.
Wade, who was drafted by the Heat two spots after James was drafted by the Cavaliers in 2003, carried Miami to the 2006 NBA championshpi with the help of some terrible officiating by men who had it out for Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
As soon as the Heat won that championship, he began secret talks with James and Bosh to get them to Miami when their contracts expired after the 2009-10 season.
The negotiations were supposed to be secret, but by time the 2009-10 season rolled around, it wasn’t a secret. Everyone knew Wade was begging Heat president Pat Riley to work the salary cap to fit all three stars under it.
Wade could sign for as much as the Heat wanted to pay him under the Larry Bird Exception, since the ex-Marquette All-American had never played for another team.
James and Bosh, however, did not have the Bird exception, and were subject to the hard cap.
Somehow, James and Bosh took much less than they could have signed for with Cleveland and Toronto, respectively.
On the evening of 8 July 2010, LeBron James went on ESPN and announced in an hour-long special that he was “taking his talents to South Beach”.
The next night, the Heat introduced their new superstar trio. James promised the rapturous throng inside American Airlines Arena they would win at least eight NBA championships.
Miami won two, defeating the Thunder in 2012 and the Spurs in 2013. The Mavericks gained revenge on the Heat in 2011, and the Spurs did the same in 2014.

Following the loss to San Antonio, King James returned to his castle on Lake Erie, signing a new contract with the Cavaliers.
Cleveland lost the 2015 NBA Finals to Steph Curry and the Warriors and fell behind 3-1 in the 2016 Finals to the Golden State team which set a record by going 73-9 in the regular season.
The Cavaliers then did the near impossible, becoming the first team to rally from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA championship series to win Cleveland’s first professional sports championships since the Browns in 1964.
James led Cleveland to the NBA Finals in 2017 and ’18, but each time, the Cavaliers lost to the Warriors.

To nobody’s surprise, LeBron went to the Lakers following the 2018 season.
It was there where LeBron became a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party, slamming Donald Trump every chance he got.
He also began vocally supporting Black Lives Matter in the summer of 2020 following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

I’m sick and goddamn tired of talking about LeBron James. That’s it. I quit.