Author Archives: David

Ghosts of inauguration days past

Joseph R. Biden assumed the presidency at 11:00 Central Standard Time (12:00 EST) today. He becomes the 45th man to hold the office (Grover Cleveland was elected to two non-consecutive terms, and he is counted both 22nd and 24th; don’t ask me why), and oddly enough, the first from the nation’s first state, Delaware, which joined the union 7 December 1787, a few days before neighboring Pennsylvania.
He is the second Roman Catholic president after John F. Kennedy; coincidentally, Biden and several top-ranking governmental officials attended a prayer service at St. Matthew’s Cathedral this morning, the same cathedral where Kennedy’s requiem mass was conducted by Cardinal Richard Cushing 25 November 1963, approximately 70 hours after he was shot to death (supposedly by Lee Harvey Oswald) on Elm Street in Dallas.
I watched ZERO of Biden’s inauguration. I was somewhere between Hays and Russell when the oath was administered by Chief Justice John Roberts. I had ZERO desire to watch, and I will not be searching the Internet to watch it.
I didn’t vote for Biden. I didn’t vote for his predecessor either. It’s so sad Biden was the best the Democratic Party could offer, but he was more palatable than the Democratic candidate of 2016. Had Biden said something before the Democratic National Convention, he could have saved the country from Hillary AND Trump. Too late.

As I cruised Interstate 70 towards Shawnee and then Leawood, I thought about where I have been for past inaugurations.
Since 1937, presidential inaugurations are held every four years on 20 January. Previously, 4 March was the date, but after a tortuous lame duck period following FDR’s election in 1932 and the end of Herbert Hoover’s presidency, Congress passed and the states ratified the 20th Amendment, moving the inauguration date ahead 42 days, while setting the meeting date of the new Congress to 3 January or thereabouts.
Why 20 January is used, I’ll never know. New Year’s Day sounds like a fine time to do it, but anyone and everyone involved with college football would raise hell. It would not be too hard to move back bowl games to 2 January every four years.
Better yet, why not inaugrate the new president as soon as possible? The 4 March date was designed to give newly elected House members and newly elected or appointed Senators enough time to get from their homes to Washington in the era before air travel.
The electoral votes can be counted by 1 December, and the new president can take office on 15 December. This way, you don’t have to go through the crap that Trump put the country through.

Kansas City reminds me I was in town four years ago when Trump was inaugurated. Larry and I were playing trivia at Buffalo Wild Wings Zona Rosa, trying to avert our eyes from the big screen. We told Tori, the regular daytime bartender, to mute the sound and let me play the jukebox. She had no objections. Later that day, Robb and Dawn came in (they were still married and everything looked good for them), and they were despondent. Both of them were Bernie Sanders supporters in the primary and they absolutely loathed Trump. Three days after his election, I brought them some beer to help them drown their sorrows.

For both of Obama’s inaugurations (2009 and 2013), I was working at home. I recall being in my bathroom at 11:00 in 2009. I did not watch either ceremony.

I also did not watch either of George W. Bush’s inaugurals. In 2005, I was at work at Delgado Community College, and in 2001, I was at Lee High in Baton Rouge covering the annual Lee High (now Louisiana Classics) wrestling tournament for The Advocate.

I was in LSU’s sports information office the day of Bill Clinton’s second inaugural in 1997. Since it was Martin Luther King Jr. day, not everyone showed up; the only others there were Kent Lowe, Michael Bonnette and Jim Kleinpeter. Lowe and Bonnette were the media relatoins contacts for the men’ s and women’s basketball teams, respectively, at the time, and Kleinpeter was LSU’s beat writer for the New Orleans Times-Picayune. We went to lunch that day at Pizza Hut just south of the LSU campus.
Lowe is still in his position, Bonnette was promoted to the top spot in 2000 and still holds it, and Kleinpeter is now covering LSU’s women’s basketball for The Adovcate.
I was a junior at Brother Martin High the day of Clinton’s first inaugural in 1993. Since it was my lunch period, I did not have to watch, and I didn’t. Lucky for me, my social studies class was my first of the day and ended at 08:55.

I was in seventh grade at Arabi Park Middle when George H.W. Bush was inaugurated in 1989. It was cold and rainy that Friday. There was a “Mardi Gras Ball” that evening and a dance afterwards. A very awkward pre-teen evening for Foots, who was still three years away from receiving the nickname.
The next evening, I had to march with the band in the Krewe of Saturn parade in Kenner, which is on the opposite side of the New Orleans metro area from Arabi.
Super Bowl XXIII was that Sunday; I watched every play of the 49ers’ thrilling victory over the Bengals, which wasn’t cemented until Joe Montana hit John Taylor with 34 seconds remaining to cap a 92-yard drive. Cincinnati has yet to recover.
Four days after the elder Bush took the oath, serial killer Ted Bundy was executed in the electric chair at Florida State Prison just after 06:00 CST, ending his reign of terror for good. Bundy was officially executed for murdering 12-year old Kimberly Leach in Lake City in February 1978, but he also raped and murdered Margaret Bowman and Lisa Levy in the Chi Omega house at Florida State hours before Super Bowl XII, and killed at least 40 women in the western United States from 1974-77.

I woke up in the dark the morning of Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration.
Reagan was officially inaugurated for a second term on 20 January 1985, but since 20 January was a Sunday that year (it was again in 2013), Dutch took the oath privately in the East Room of the White House at 11:00 CST, and the public ceremony was held the next day.
Super Bowl XIX was 20 January 1985. To celebrate Reagan’s second term, the man who played George Gipp on the silver screen was asked to toss the coin prior to the Dolphins meeting the 49ers at Stanford. There was a satellite hookup between the locales, and Reagan tossed the coin in the East Room when prompted by referee Pat Haggerty.
It was bitterly cold in most of the country that Super Sunday. It was chilly and foggy in Stanford, a fitting backdrop for the Dolphin defense, which was shredded for 537 yards by Joe Montana, Roger Craig, Dwight Clark and company. Dan Marino was pounded by a San Francisco defense spearheaded by future Hall of Famers Fred Dean and Ronnie Lott, and the 49ers rolled 38-16. Little did anyone know Marino would never return to gridiron football’s biggest stage.
Temperatures below minus-7 Celsius (20 F) are as rare in New Orleans as sightings of Haley’s Comet and four-leaf clovers, but lo and behold, it dipped to minus-10 C (14 F) in the early hours of 21 January 1985. The power at 224 Jaguar Drive went out, as it did for tens of thousands across south Louisiana.
The cold hit the Air Products and Chemicals plant at the northeast edge of New Orleans hard, and my dad had to go out there to check it out only a couple of hours after the Super Bowl ended.
Fortunately for my brother, mother and I, we had a way to keep warm.
My mother’s close friend, Wanda Pattison, had a gas furnace at her residence in Chalmettte, about 15 minutes from our house. We went there to keep warm, and the electricity came on just in time to see Reagan take the oath from Chief Justice Warren Burger.
It was so cold in Washington–minus-15 C (5 F)–the ceremony was moved from the West Front of the Captiol into the rotunda, the first time in memory the ceremony was held indoors. It should have been held indoors today.
U.S. Representative Gillis Long from Louisiana died the previous day, and Reagan asked for a moment of silence in his memory. Long represented the former Eighth District, which stretched from Alexandria south and east along the Mississippi River to St. John the Baptist Parish, from 1973-84, and previously in 1963 and ’64. Gillis was a cousin of legendary brothers Huey and Earl Long, and secured funding for an important Hansen’s Disesase research center in Iberville Parish about 40 km (25 miles) southeast of Baton Rouge; the center now bears his name.
Gillis ran for Governor of Louisiana in 1963 and again in 1971. He was third in the Democratic primary each time, with John McKeithen winning the former election and Edwin Edwards the latter.

I was not old enough to remember Reagan’s first inauguration in 1981, although I have watched it on YouTube. That day, the 52 Americans held hostage in Iran since 4 November 1979 were freed. Reagan announced it during his inaugural speech, and Jimmy Carter went to Germany to meet the freed men.

Speaking of Carter, of course I can’t remember his inauguration in 1977. It was my 99th day in this life.

If you have read to this point, I thank you. If not, I don’t blame you. I’m going full Porky Pig…THAT’S ALL FOLKS! (at least for now)

Buffalo stampedes ahead

The Buffalo Bills will be among the last eight NFL teams left following their 27-24 victory over the Colts today in western New York to open the NFL playoffs.
It’s the Bills’ first playoff victory since 30 December 1995, when they defeated the Dolphins 37-22 at home.
Chiefs fans were ardently rooting for the Colts, who would have come to Kansas City had they won. Instead, either the Ravens-Titans winner or the Browns (if they defeat the Steelers) are coming to Arrowhead. The Bills will host either the Ravens-Titans winner or the Steelers.

Just how long ago was the 1995 NFL season?
Buffalo’s coach was Marv Levy, who led the Bills to four consecutive Super Bowls from 1990-93 (all losses), but was on the downside of his coaching career, which ended after the 1997 season. Still, getting any team to four consecutive Super Bowls, especially one as downtrodden as the Bills were prior to his arrival during the 1986 season, is worthy of his bust in Canton.
How bad were the Bills before Levy?
Between 1966, the year after Buffalo won its second conseuctive AFL championship, and 1985, the Bills played in five playoff games, winning one, the 1981 AFC wild card vs. the Jets.
The Bills went 1-13 in 1968 and again in 1971, 2-12 in 1977, and 2-14 in 1984 and ‘85.
I’ll never forget the 1984 Bills started 0-11, then somehow beat the Cowboys 14-3 at home. I watched the game with my brother at my maternal grandmother’s shotgun home in the Algiers section of New Orleans, and couldn’t believe it when Greg Bell ran 85 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. By time we got home, the Bills sealed what likely was the Cowboys’ most embarrassing loss in franchise history at that time.

Miami’s coach the penultimate day of 1995? Donald Francis Shula.
Shula, who passed away last May at 90, coached his final game that day, ending a 33-year career which began with seven seasons in Baltimore and continued with 26 more in Miami. Shula coached Johnny Unitas at the beginning of his career and Dan Marino in the end, with Earl Morrall, Bob Griese, Don Strock and David Woodley in between.
The Dolphins needed to defeat the Rams in St. Louis on the final day of the regular season to qualify. It was Shula’s 347th and final win. Hopefully, his record for coaching is not broken by the jerk in New England.

Some of the rookies who debuted in 1995: Hall of Famers Curtis Martin, Terrell Davis, Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks; Tony Boselli, who would have been in the Hall of Fame if not for injuries; servicable quarterback Kerry Collins; workout warrior Mike Mamula; and lesser lights Blake Brockermeier, Dave Wohlabaugh, Brendan Stai and Tyrone Poole.
Levy and Shula were not the only long-tenured coaches. Jim E. Mora was in his 10th season with the Saints. Marty Schottenheimer was in his seventh with the Chiefs. Ted Marchibroda was in the fourth season of his second tenure with the Colts. Bill Cowher (Steelers) and Mike Holmgren (Packers) were each in the fourth season. BIll Parcells was in his third with the Patriots, and Dan Reeves his third with the Giants.
Buddy Ryan was coaching his second, and last, season in Arizona. He was fired 12 hours after the Cardinals lost the last regular season to the Cowboys on Christmas night. The mastermind of the 1985 Bears’ 46 Defense never returned to football. Ryan passed away in 2018, but his legacy is far from dead, thanks to sons Rex and Rob.
The biggest news of the 1995 NFL season was the debut of the Panthers and Jaguars, the NFL’s first expansion teams since the Buccaneers and Seahawks of 1976.
The Rams played their first season in St. Louis under new coach Rich Brooks, fresh off leading Oregon to the Rose Bowl. Contiuining the tradition of losing football in the Gateway City established by the Cardinals from 1960-87, the Rams went 7-9, their sixth of nine consecutive losing seasons.
The Raiders played in Oakland for the first time since 1981 and collapsed down the stretch, losing their last six to finish 8-8.
The Browns were playing their 50th—and final—season at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium (aka The Mistake by the Lake (Erie)). that November, Art Modell shocked the sports world by annoucning the Browns were moving to Baltimore for 1996. Eventually, Modell had to leave the Browns’ name, colors and history behind, and the franchise was renamed the Baltimore Ravens. The new Browns debuted in 1999 in what is now First Energy Stadium.

The Bills’ quest for their fifth Super Bowl berth died in Pittsburgh, where the Steelers prevailed 40-21 in the first AFC divisional playoff. The next day, the Steelers were gifted home field for the AFC championship when the Colts, led by Jim Harbaugh, downed the Chiefs 10-7 at frigid Arrowhead.
Pittsburgh survived Indianapolis 20-16, but only after Aaron Bailey lost possession of Harbaugh’s Hail Mary when he hit the ground in the back right corner of the end zone on the game’s final play.
The Steelers fought the Cowboys tooth-and-nail in Super Bowl XXX, but two pathetic throws by Neil O’Donnell resulted in two interceptions by Larry Brown, and Dallas won 27-17. No wonder Pittsburgh didn’t return to the Super Bowl until Cowher and the Rooneys drafted Ben Roethlisberger in 2004.

Buffalo needed something good to happen. The Sabres have been wretched for more than a decade. The Braves left when I was 18 months old, and the NBA will NEVER come back. The city has struggled economically for as long as I’ve lived. New York’s governors have favored the Big Apple for far, far, FAR too long at the expense of the rest of the state. And of course, there’s always the snow.
Maybe this will help the push for a downtown stadium, something Terry and Kim Pegula stress is vital for the Bills to survive. I can’t blame them, because the stadium in Orchard Park is older than me, opening with the double murderer’s 2,003-yard season of 1973.

I wouldn’t mind living in Buffalo. I’d trade the snowy winters for cooler summers, although the humidity would be more than Kansas.
I’d better enjoy these zero-degree days (Celsius, of course) while I can. The mercury will shoot above 20 soon enough and have me in shorts for seven months.

Leawood file

As I mentioned Tuesday evening, I’m staying on the Kansas side of the Kansas City metro for the first time in a long time, and in a Kansas hotel for the first time in a year and a half.
The reason? I had to be in Kansas to hold a Zoom conference with Crista at 08:00.
Last May, I got on a Zoom with Crista in St. Louis (Chesterfield to be exact), and at our next session, she told me I couldn’t be out of state to for a virtual session. Think it has something to do with Blue Cross/Blue Shield rules, although it could be High Plains Mental Heatlh’s rules.
This has forced me to make the long drive north of the Missouri River. It takes about 30 minutes, give or take, to reach my destinations.
Buffalo Wild Wings at Shoal Creek is an easy drive. Interstate 435 all the way past Arrowhead and Kaufman Stadiums to Shoal Creek Parkway.
The drive to Zona requires four highways….435 to 35 to 635 to 29. The problem with that drive is traffic is horrendous where I-635 ends and defaults to I-35 south. Metcalf Avenue is a better option.

Today I went to get my car washed in Leawood. I signed up for a monthly plan, and the lovely young lady behind the counter asked if I knew my license plate. I rattled it off without hesitation. She was impressed.
More bits of useless information…I can recall every license plate of every car I’ve driven. I also remember some my parents drove.
In Louisiana, when I began driving the 1989 Chevy Cavalier my dad purchased in July 1989, the license plate was 604 A 407.
Prior to 1995, Louisiana license plates featured six numerals, and in the middle was the letter of the state police troop issuing the license plate.
Bryan Lazare, the great sportswriter for The Times-Picyaune and later Rivals.com, found it strange my car had a license plate on a New Orleans-area car with an “A”.
A is the letter for the state police troop in Baton Rouge, which is on Highland Road near the East Baton Rouge/Ascension Parish line. That troop has responsibliity for East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, West Feliciana, East Feliciana, Livington, Ascenion and the east (actually north) bank of St. James (the west/south bank of St. James is handled by Troop C near Houma).
Troop B is the New Orleans troop. The 1978 Oldsombile Custom Cruiser station wagon my family drove until July 198t6 had the plate 706 B 406.
It was the last Steinle car to have a “B” plate.
The 1980 Datsun 310–one of the two worst cars my dad has ever bought—had a plate of 254 X 414. There is no troop X; rather, it’s an overflow designation for trooops which ran out of letter plates (mostly in New Orleans, sometimes in Baton Rouge, never anywhere else) in a year.
The other bad car my dad bought was a 1971 Chevy Vega, which rusted. My dad bought the Vega after he was forced to trade in his 1969 Pontiac Firebird due to the wheel rims being stolen numerous times, and State Farm refusing to insure the car.
The Vega was traded in 1975 for a Mercedes, then for the station wagon three years later. Two kids will do that.
The wagon became a 1986 Oldsombile 88, license plate 252 N 928. “N” was a second designation for Troop B.
In case you’re curious, the other troops are:
B—Kenner (Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, St. Charles, part of St. John)
C—Houma (Assumption, Lafourche, Terrbonne, St. Mary, parts of St. James, St. John the Baptist)
D—Lake Charles (Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Beauregard, Allen)
E—Alexandria (Rapides, Avoyelles, Grant, Vernon, Sabine, Winn, Natchitcohes, LaSalle, Catahoula, Concordia)
F—Monroe (Ouachita, Morehouse, East Carroll, West Carroll, Richland, Madison, Tensas, Franklin, Caldwell, Jackson, Lincoln, Union)
G—Shreveport (Caddo, Bossier, Webster, DeSoto, Red River, Claiborne, Bienville)
I—Lafayette (Lafayette, Iberia, St. Martin, St. Landry, Evangeline, Acadia)
L—Covington (St. Tammany, Washington, Tangipahoa, St. Helena)
In 1995, Louisiana changed its plates to three letters and three numbers. The Cavalier got plate EIP 887.
I don’t remember the plate number the Corsica I drove from 1998-2001 had.
In 2002, I took over my mother’s 1998 Olds 88, license plate LFV 472. The plate went to Kansas and was traded one month later for Kansas plate WDA 498.
On 4 October 2005, I crashed the Olds into a deer. Less than 48 hours later, the plate moved to the 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix I acquired in Hays.
WDA 498 lasted for the entire run of the Grand Prix, almost six years, and went to the 2010 Chevy Impala, which was my car through 2018. In 2012, the first Kansas plate was replaced by the current 545 FEH.

No wonder I’m good at trivia. 😜

Peaceful protests? They don’t exist in the USA

Let me make one thing clear about my last post.

I do not, in any way, support violent protest, no matter what it is about, no matter who is protesting.
I am not a fan of protests, period. I believe most are pointless and a waste of time. There are far better things for me to do than to march for a cause. I think it would just drive my blood pressure even higher than it is now, which is way too high, and I don’t like crowds unless it’s at a sporting event.
However, the First Amendment of the United States Constitution—the document every lying politician, no matter what end of the spectrum, hides behind—guarnatees the right of assembly.
PEACEFUL assembly.
The First Amendment protected the rights of the 250,000 who descended upon the Washington Monument on 28 August 1963 to hear Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
That was a lawful, PEACEFUL, protest.
Same with Woodstock, where over 400,000 descended upon White Lake, New York in August 1969. The residents feared the worst from the hippies. Instead, the hippies only wanted to listen to Joe Cocker, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and many other big-name musicians, and share peace and love.
The Million Man March, organized by noted racist anti-semite Louis Farrakhan in October 1995, had the potential for violence, but stayed peaceful.
Too bad most protests which receive publicity over the last 56 years have been far too violent and far too deadly. This is not an all-inclusive list, but some of the more infamous ones.

Summer 1964–Philadelphia race riots. Fortunately, nobody died, but hundreds of black-owned business were burned to the ground in North Philadelphia, never to return.
August 1965–Watts. The infamous Los Angeles riot began when a black woman was beaten by police, setting off four days and nights of
Jully 1967–Detroit race riots. Forty-three die and hundreds of millions of damages to black neighborhoods of the Motor City, and come perilously close to Tiger Stadium. Tigers left fielder Willie Horton, in full uniform, helps calm the situation.
April 1968–Riots in the wake of MLK assassination, notably in Baltimore, Washington, Louisville, Detroit (again) and Kansas City
August 1968–Anti-war protesters at Democratic National Convention in Chicago, led by the Chicago 7 and the Black Panthers under the direction of Bobby Seale
May 1970–Kent State, where four were killed by National Guard troops. Two (Allison Krause and Jeffrey Miller) were participating in a violent protest, but two others (Sandy Schurer and William Schroeder) were not. Nick Saban and Gary Pinkel, future college football coaching legends, witnessed the riots.
January 7, 1973–Mark James Robert Essex, a dishonorably discharged Navy seaman, kills three police officers and four civilians in a racially-motivated spree at a New Orleans hotel. Essex, a black Kansas native, killed a black police cadet at the New Orleans jail seven days prior, and carjacked a black man outside his residence to get to the hotel. Essex tells black maids “We’re only shooting whites today”. As Essex shoots anything that moves while perched on the roof, black youths gather across Loyola Avenue and scream ‘RIGHT ON’ whenever a shot rings out. Essex is cut down when a Marine helicopter carrying policemen shoot during a nighttime sortie.
November 1979—Ku Klux Klan rally in Greensboro turns violent when five black counter-protesters are murdered by the racists. Less than 36 hours later, the Iran Hostage Crisis began (not that it was a riot, just mentioning it in passing.).
May 1980–The first of several riots in Miami occurs after four white police officers are acquitted in the December 1979 shooting death of black insurance salesman Arthur McDuffie. Over $!00 million in property damage occurs in Liberty City and Overtown. Eighteen die.
December 1982–Violence returns to Overtown after policeman Luis Alvarez shot and killed 20-year old Nevel Johnson Jr. outside an arcade. The violence forces the LSU and Nebraska football teams, in town for the Orange Bowl, to shelter in place at their hotels following morning practice. There are 24,000 empty seats at the game, won by Nebraska 21-20.
January 1989–In the days leading up to Super Bowl XXIII, Overtown decends into chaos yet again after Officer William Lozano shoots and kills Clement Lloyd, who was attempting to flee on a motorcyle. Lloyd’s passenger also dies when the two-wheeler crashes. The riots give the city a black eye as it prepares to host its first Super Bowl in 10 years. Fortunately, the Dolphins’ 1987 move to the Dade-Broward County line in what is now Miami Gardens keeps the rioters far away from more trouble for the NFL. Had the game been scheduled for the Orange Bowl, there would have been HUGE problems.
August 1991–Blacks attack Orthodox Jews in the Crown Heights neighborhood of New York after two immigrants from Guyana are struck by a motorcade led by a prominent rabbi.
April 1992—Los Angeles riots protesting acquittal of four LAPD officers who beat Rodney King in 1991. Trucker Reginald Denny beaten nearly to death. The area near the Los Angeles Coliseum and the University of Southern California is mostly burned to the ground, resulting in over $1 billion in damages.

The last 10 years has seen a proliferation of violent riots, from the Occupy Movement to those after police-related deaths (Eric Garner in NYC, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Freddie Gray in Baltimore), the Charlottesville riot involving white supremacists, Antifa, this summer’s riots following the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd (among others), and now this.
I shudder to think what will happen on Inauguration Day. Joe Biden should demand the ceremony take place inside the Capitol, either in the rotunda, or better yet, in the House chamber. The only people who should be present are the families of Biden and Kamala Harris, the House, the Senate and former presidents Carter, Bush and Obama (Trump should be banned). The rest of us can watch on TV.
Or maybe he should go to a secure location, take the oath, then go straight to the White House and deliver his inaugural address from the Oval Office.
The public must be banned from this ceremony. Sadly, a few psychotic assholes have ruined it for the rest of us.
Besides, this is a good year to ban the public. Something called COVID-19 still rampaging.

The United States of America is SICK. Both sides of the spectrum have a serious problem.
Compromise is the new “C” curse word, replacing the four-letter one which I will not repeat. There is no middle ground; it’s 100 percent good or 100 percent evil.
Biden was long considered a moderate when he represented Delaware in the Senate. Many left-wing groups hated him, never more so than when women’s groups felt he did not do enough to support Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings in 1991. They were outraged Biden basically twiddled his thumbs while Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, then a Republican, tore into Hill.
Speaking of Specter, he was the last of the Rockefeller Republicans who often had the guts to vote against his party when it didn’t suit the interests of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was also a tough-on-crime prosecutor in Philadelphia who teamed with Mayor Frank Rizzo to make the city safe during the 1970s.
Specter, who grew up in my current town of Russell, is sorely missed in the Senate.

I left my 2020 presidential ballot blank. I voted for nobody. I also did not vote for Trump in 2016. Before that, I voted for Republican candidates in every major election in Louisiana and Kansas.
I regret many of those votes. Woody Jenkins (US Senate from Louisiana, 1996) is one of those Bible thumpers I can’t stand. Bobby Jindal (Louisiana Governor, 2003–although he lost) proved to be an incompetent boob who cut government services to the bone and decimated the state’s tax base. Jim Barnett (Kansas Governor, 2006) was grossly incompetent and had no business running for the state’s highest office. Kris Kobach (Kansas Secretary of State, 2010 and 2014) is a xenophobic piece of shit whose narcissism rivals Trump’s. Tim Huelskamp (US House from KS-01, 2010-16) was so far right John Boehner and Paul Ryan could not work with him. Roger Marshall (US House from KS-01, 2018; US Senate from Kansas, 2020) proved what a fraud he is by refusing to certify Biden’s election.
Jindal was such a fucking embarrassment that I was glad not to be living in my native state when he was governor. His three immediate predecessors—Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, Mike Foster and Edwin Edwards—all won support from all ends of the spectrum by being pragmatic. Sure, Edwards went to federal prison for racketeering, but he didn’t screw the state the way Jindal did.
Marshall ensured I won’t be voting for him in 2026. Fucking turd.

I’ve had it with talking about this shit. Excuse me while I run to the toilet to vomit.

The inmates are running the Washington asylum

God I hate politics. I hate everything about it. I hate how it has divided Americans into “good” and “evil”. That’s why for the most part I don’t want to comment about elections.

I can’t stay silent today.

What’s going on in Washington is not acceptable in the United States of America.
Psychotic Trump supporters have stormed the Captiol and forced the building, the symbol of the Federal Republic (NOT a democracy), to be placed on lockdown. These irrational animals with human characteristics tore down FOUR layers of security and stormed up the steps, overwhelming the Capitol Police.
I never dreamed the United States of America would devolve into this. What is going on in Washington is something you see in a third-world dictatorship where elections are really rigged.
It has happened in Venezuela regularly since 1998, when the late Hugo Chavez seized power in a coup, then was routinely “re-elected” despite votes showing otherwise. The same continues to happen under his successor, Nicolas Maduro, an avowed enemy of the United States and its allies.
It happened in Zimbabwe, where Robert Mugabe, the black nationalist who led the country to independence from the United Kingdom then stole land from whites, had loyalists in parliament disavow the results of his last election, when the votes clearly showed him losing.

Donald John Trump LOST the 2020 presidential election. He lost it fair and square. Yet he is deluding himself into believing he “won”. challenging the votes of four states (Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin), claiming “electoral fraud”.
You didn’t win those states, Donny. You know why you didn’t win those states, Donny? LOOK IN THE MIRROR YOU TURD.
The Democrats have themselves to blame for Trump becoming president in the first place. ANYONE but Hillary Rodham Clinton would have beaten Trump in 2016. Yet the Democrats felt they “owed” it to Hillary for her years of service as a Senator from New York and Secretary of State, as well as her husband for his eight years in the White House.
If Trump had moved to the center, been willing to compromise, spent more time governing than tweeting, he could have won a second term. His three predecessors were average candidates at best (George W. Bush was so far below average he’s buried under the Mariannas Trench), yet modified their positions to save their political hides.
Instead, Trump doubled and tripled down and did all he could to embarrass the United States of America.
Had Trump not been the most arrogant and narcissistic person to serve as president, he would have stepped aside for the good of his party,
Of course, Trump and humility might as well be Mercury and Pluto.
If the Republicans had run ANYONE with a sliver of ethics against Joe Biden, Biden would be back in Delaware negotiating a deal to write his memoirs. Kamala Harris would be stuck in the Senate.
By rights, Joe Biden should never have been allowed to run for president after his plagiarism admission forced him out of the 1988 race. Same as Trump should never have been allowed to run for his unethical conduct throughout his business career.

I knew Trump was a raging fraud early.

In the fall of 1983, Trump purchased the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League, the spring football league which began earlier that year. Trump immediately tried to hire Don Shula to coach the team, but he stayed with Miami after Trump refused Shula a penthouse in Trump Tower.

Shula, who passed away last May, saved himself a world of trouble.

It turns out Trump bought the Generals for one reason: to worm his way into the NFL.
First, Trump wanted the USFL to move from the spring to the fall to directly challenge the NFL. Then if the USFL were successful, he would force a merger, the same way the American Football League did in the 1960s.
Trump shamed most USFL owners into agreeing to move to the fall in 1986. ABC, which held the network television contract to the USFL, said it would not televise any fall games, citing its commitment to the NFL’s Monday Night Football. Of course, CBS and NBC weren’t going to bite; if neither would touch the league in the spring, there was no chance in hell they would do so in the fall.
Outraged by the networks shunning the USFL, Trump filed a $1.6 billion lawsuit against the NFL in October 1984.
Trump felt if he won his case, the USFL would be absorbed into the NFL, and he would become an NFL owner for far less than Jerry Jones would pay for the Cowboys in 1989.
On the field, the Generals already had Herschel Walker when Trump purchased the team, but Donny wanted more He broke the bank to sign Browns quarterback Brian Sipe, the 1980 NFL MVP, but after the Generals failed to even reach the USFL championship game, Trump was angry.
He spited Sipe and signed Doug Flutie, who won the 1984 Heisman Trophy playing for. Boston College. Walker rushed for 2,148 yards in 1985, but the Generals failed again to reach the title game.
The USFL spent the spring of 1986 in the courtroom, hoping a six-person jury would see the NFL as a monopoly and richly reward them.
On 29 July 1986, the jury returned its verdict.
Yes, the NFL was a monopoly.
However, the USFL’s financial woes were all their own fault. Its award: $1, trebled to $3 under antitrust law.
Goodbye, Donny, Don’t let the door hit your butt cheeks on the way out.

The United States of America is supposedly a country of laws, not of men. What is going on in Washington is not lawful and should be punished to the fullest extent of that law. These lunatics are embarrassing hundreds of millions rational Americans with their antics and are doing irreparable harm to our Republic.

The election is over. It’s time to get on with the business of fighting COVID-19 and other issues big and small.

Disney-free lodging

What am I going to watch?

The television in my hotel in the Kansas City area doesn’t have Disney Channel.

Yes, I’m 44 years old and been hooked on Disney Channel for the past couple of months.

Actually, the addiction goes back three years, when I purchased all four seasons of Jessie through Apple.

Jessie starred Debby Ryan as the titular character, a native of Fort Hood who goes to New York City to pursue her dreams of becoming an actress. She somehow becomes the nanny to four children of a famous model turned media tycoon and her movie producer husband.

Ryan recently starred in the Netflix series Insatiable, where she portrays a teenager hell-bent on becoming a beauty pageant queen. I watched the first season, but not the second and last.

Since July 2019, you can’t help but be sad watching Jessie.

Cameron Boyce, who played mischievous Luke Ross, passed away suddenly, only 39 days after his 20th birthday. Boyce also starred in two Descendants movies produced by Disney Channel, and likely had a long and successful career ahead of him.

Skai Jackson, who played youngest child Zuri, recently appeared on Dancing With The Stars. Peyton List (Emma) had several roles before Jessie, including a television movie, A Daughter’s Deception, with Kelly Rutherford and Natasha Henstridge.

Jackson, List and Karan Barar (Ravi), along with Mrs. Kipling, Ravi’s pet lizard on Jessie, moved on to Bunk’d, a spinoff where the Ross children go to a summer camp in eastern Maine. The backstory is Christina (Christina Moore) and Morgan (Chuck Esten) met at the camp in the 1990s.

Bunk’d is still on the air, with its fifth season opening next Friday. Jackson, List and Barar left after the third season, leaving Miranda May, who portrays sweet farm girl Louella Hockhauser, as the lead.

I didn’t have to buy Bunk’d. The entire series is on Netflix, as is Liv and Maddie, where Dove Cameron portrays twins Olivia (Liv) and Madeline (Maddie) Rooney. Liv is an actress and Maddie a basketball player.

I must admit I own three other series from start to finish:

Stuck in the Middle–Jenna Ortega stars as Harley Diaz, the fourth of seven children. Harley is always getting her family out of sticky situations with inventions and intelligence. Harley has three sisters (Rachel and Georgie, the two oldest Diaz kids; and Daphne, the youngest) and three brothers (Ethan and twins Louie and Beast). Tom and Suzy Diaz own a slushy store on the Massachusetts shore.
Bizaardvark--The title of the show comes from a portmanteau of “bizarre” and “aardvark”. Olivia Rodrigo and Madison Hu star as Paige Olvera and Frankie Wong, who make silly videos at Vuugle, a studio which is a cross between Dave & Buster’s and Chuck E. Cheese. In the third and final season, Vuugle moves to a Malibu beach house. Also starring are DeVore Ledridge as Amelia Duckworth, who gives fashion tips on her channel; and Bernie Schotz, who is the straight man for the three females and
Raven’s Home–Raven-Symone and Anneliese van der Pol reprise their roles from That’s So Raven. Raven and Chelsea are both divorced with children living together in a cramped Chicago apartment. Raven has twins: Booker (Isaac Ryan Brown), who shares his mother’s psychic ability; and Nia (Navia Robinson), whose smarts often gets her brother out of jams. Chelsea is the mother to Levi (Jason Maybaum), the smartest 11-year old on television. Joining Nia, Booker and Levi in their adventures is neighbor Tess O’Malley (Sky Katz), who captains her middle school’s basketball team as the only girl playing with boys.

I’m also hooked on two newer Disney shows, Coop and Cami Ask The World and Sydney To The Max. The former stars Ruby Rose Turner and Dakota Lotus as siblings who use Internet polls to determine their next video; the latter stars Ruth Righi as Sydney, a teenager living with her widower father, Max (Ian Reed Kessler) and paternal grandmother Judy (Caroline Rhea). Jackson Dollinger portrays 12-year old Max in flashbacks (Rhea wears a gray wig for current scenes), and Ava Koler portrays Sydney’s best friend Olive Rowzalski.

I have become so hooked I fall asleep with Disney Channel on the TV. Disney Junior runs from 05:00 to 10:00 each morning. If I had a kid, I would hope he or she would watch Bluey, the adorable Australian cartoon about a family and community of dogs. That airs for an hour starting at 06:00.

This is the first hotel in Kansas City I’ve stayed without Disney Channel. I’m staying somewhere I’ve never stayed before. Why? I’ll explain later.

Voodoo (aka Ohio State) strikes down Clemson

Nobody would blame a Clemson football fan if they believed in voodoo.

New Orleans has been a hellhole for Tiger football, especially over the last four seasons.

Clemson’s dreams of its third national championship in five seasons was squashed last night when Ohio State rolled to a stunningly easy 49-28 victory in the Sugar Bowl, the second College Football Playoff semifinal.

The Buckeyes, who played only five regular season games, then defeated Northwestern in the Big Ten Conference championship game, faces Alabama in Miami Gardens for the championship a week from Monday. The Crimson Tide had no trouble in rolling over Notre Dame 31-14 in the Rose Bowl, relocated from Pasadena to Arlington due to California’s ban on spectators at sporting events in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dabo Swinney’s Tigers are 6-5 in CFP games. They have been in college football’s version of the Final Four every year since 2015, the second year of the playoff.

Tonight’s loss dropped Clemson to 0-3 in CFP games in the Superdome. The Tigers lost 24-6 to Alabama in the 2017 semifinals and 42-25 to LSU in last year’s championship.

Clemson’s cursed history in the Big Easy goes back to the Tigers’ longest-tenured coach, the man who is honored prior to every Clemson home game.

Frank Howard was already a near-deity in South Carolina, and a living legend in the college football coaching ranks, in 1958. He was in his 19th season at Clemson, and by then, he established the Tigers as a southern stalwart, highlighted by an 11-0 campaign in 1948 which saw the Carolina Tigers defeat Don Faurot’s Missouri Tigers in the Gator Bowl.

What did an 11-0 record get Clemson in 1948? The No. 11 spot in the final Associated Press poll, which was taken prior to bowl games. The AP’s first post-bowl poll was in 1965, and it did not become permanent until 1968..

The Tigers were ranked eight spots behind North Carolina, which went 9-0-1 in the regular season before losing to Bud Wilkinson’s Oklahoma Sooners in the Sugar Bowl.

In 1948, North Carolina and Clemson were toiling in the Southern Conference, which was nothing more than a loose confederation of teams most in the Carolinas and Virginia, with Maryland the northern edge of the conference. There were big names like UNC, Clemson, South Carolina, North Carolina State and Maryland in the SoCon, but lesser lights like Washington and Lee, The Citadel, Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and Furman.

UNC and Clemson didn’t play in 1948. However, the Tigers defeated SEC members Mississippi State and Auburn away from Memorial Stadium, Boston College in Massachusetts and South Carolina in Columbia.

The Tar Heels rocketed to No. 2 after wins over Texas and Georgia, the latter in Athens. UNC hit the top spot after defeating Wake Forest, but somehow dropped two spots after a win over NC State. Then UNC beat LSU and Tennessee, the latter in Knoxville, but was tied 7-7 by William & Mary, which had a fine team and finished No. 20 in the final AP poll of 1948.

Should Clemson have been higher than No. 11? Absolutely. Not ahead of the top three (Michigan, Notre Dame, North Carolina), but no lower than No. 7, where 7-2 Northwestern resided.

Two years later, Clemson went 8-0-1 in the regular season and finished 10th in the final AP poll. The Tigers won their ninth game by defeating Miami on its own field in the Orange Bowl.

In 1953, the large schools from the SoCon formed the Atlantic Coast Conference. Clemson won its first ACC title in 1956 and a trip to the Orange Bowl, where it lost 27-21 to Colorado, which was not yet in the Big Eight. The Tigers went 7-3 in 1957, but only 4-3 in the ACC, and thus did not get invited to a bowl.

Howard’s 1958 squad started 4-0 and rose to No. 10 in the AP poll, but a 26-6 loss in Columbia to the Gamecocks dropped the Tigers nine spots. Clemson lost two weeks later to then-SEC member Georgia Tech in Atlanta before winning its last three regular season games vs. NC State, Boston College and Furman.

South Carolina, which lost to North Carolina two weeks before defeating Clemson, had the inside track to a bowl bid, but blew it by losing 10-6 to Maryland in College Park.

The Terrapins did the Tigers a huge favor. Clemson was then home free after winning in Raleigh. North Carolina took itself out of the running with losses to NC State and the Tigers in the first two weeks, and Duke lost its first two conference games to South Carolina and Virginia, the Cavaliers’ lone win of 1958.

Howard’s club climbed back into the rankings at No. 16 after the NC State game. His coaching cachet and Clemson’s rabid fan base was mighty appealing to the New Orleans Mid-Winter Sports Carnival, which was under pressure from Mayor deLesseps “Chep” Morrison, the City Council and the Louisiana Legislature to invite only all-white teams to Tulane Stadium.

The Sugar Bowl had to look only 80 miles west to find Clemson’s opponent.

One week after inviting LSU, the Bayou Bengals wrapped up the 1958 national championship by stomping Tulane 62-0 in New Orleans. Paul Dietzel’s White Team, Go Team and Chinese Bandits pillaged the Green Wave for 56 second half points, one record which survived Joe Burrow’s passing frenzy of 2019.

This was not Howard’s first rodeo in New Orleans. He took Clemson to Tulane Stadium to play the Green Wave four times between 1940 and 1946, coming away a loser three times. The lone Tiger win was 47-20 in 1945. Tulane was also 2-1 vs. Clemson prior to Howard’s arrival, leaving the Tigers 2-5 in the Crescent City prior to playing the Bayou Bengals.

Clemson was a decided underdog, facing the national champions in what amounted to a road game. Yet Howard, much like Swinney, had the Carolina Tigers loose and ready to roar. What did they have to lose?

It took a trick play, a halfback option pass from Billy Cannon to Mickey Mangham, for LSU to overcome its stubborn foe 7-0. The Bayou Bengals cemented their national championship without much complaint from the peanut gallery, even though Iowa was voted No. 1 in the Football Writers Association of America poll after the Hawkeyes crushed California 38-12 in the Rose Bowl. The Golden Bears haven’t returned to the Granddaddy of Them All, much as Chuck Munice and Aaron Rodgers tried.

Two years after the loss to LSU, a rock found in the real Death Valley was given to Howard by Clemson booster Samuel Jones. Howard used the rock as a door stop until 1966, when another booster, Gene Willimon, told the coach to do something with the rock or get rid of it. Howard took Willimon’s advice and placed it on the pedestal in the east end of Memorial Stadium.

Clemson did not rub the rock during the 1966 season, although in its first home game of that season, it rallied from an 18 point deficit vs. Virginia with 17 minutes left to win 40-35.

The next season, the tradition of rubbing the rock began. It actually ended in 1970 when Hootie Ingram succeeded Howard and continued through most of 1972. Ingram chose to have Clemson enter the stadium from the west end instead of the east.

Bad idea, Hootie.

Prior to the 1972 season finale vs. South Carolina, Ingram realized the Tigers were a putrid 6-9 at home under his leadership. He decided to have the team enter from the east end before facing Paul Dietzel’s Gamecocks.

Clemson won 7-6. The tradition carries on.

Back to Clemson and New Orleans.

After losing the Sugar Bowl to LSU, Clemson did not return to the Big Easy until 1981 to play Tulane in the Superdome. The Tigers won 13-5 (not a typo) en route to their first national championship, claimed with a 22-15 victory over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl.

Clemson left the Superdome last night with a humbling 3-8 lifetime mark in the Big Easy.

Two silver linings:

–The Superdome will have a new sponsor when Clemson returns. Mercedes-Benz’ naming rights deal expires later this year, and the German automaker will not renew the contract, due to its sponsorship of Atlanta’s stadium. Clemson’s three CFP losses came during this naming rights deal.

–Trevor Lawrence will only have to play in New Orleans once every eight years, since the Jaguars and Saints are in opposite conferences. If you think the Jaguars have a chance of playing in Super Bowl LIX following the 2024 season, I’ve got a beachfront condo in Russell to sell.

A rambling post about Clemson football. Foots Prints at its finest. Goodbye for now.

Adios, 2020

2020 has less than four hours to live in the Central Time Zone of the United States and Canada.

Nothing is going to change, except the calendar. Nothing to see here.

I’m going full Porky Pig with this post as it relates 2020 and this blog….THAT’S ALL FOLKS!

The final fifty

The final 50 hours of 2020, at least for Americans in the Central Time Zone, are here.

Again, I keep hearing over and over how bad 2020 has been and how it will be refreshing to put it behind us.

Yes, it has been a bad year. No, it will not be refreshing to put it behind us.

Guess what? Most of those who are afflicted with the terrible coronavirus will still be afflicted with it when 2021 arrives. Those who are battling financial difficulties are not going to see them magically wiped away because it’s a different year. Those who are overweight are not going to magically shrink.

It’s going to take time, lot of time, for the problems of 2020 (and 2019 and 2018 and way back to that) to go away. There will be a lot of problems which will carry through all of 2021, plus new problems which will pop up during the year and persist into 2022. And 2023. And 2024.

I haven’t posted in forever. I’m lazy. Right now, I won’t go on, because I’m fading fast. Sleep is something I need more of. Lots of it. Hopefully, 2020 will be down to no more than 43 hours by time I wake up.

Some random words to show I’m not comatose

Just checking in to tell you I’m alive, if not totally well. The right foot is my Achilles’ heel, and it’s not the heel that’s hurting.

My Thanksgiving was boring, which was good. I ate turkey this year, probably too much, since I had indigestion after all the turkey sandwiches I ate. I passed on the seconds of stuffing and candied yams, but devoured the rest of the fried cauliflower.

I began December stopping by two of my favorites, Imo’s and White Castle, both in Columbia. Imo’s has an Overland Park location, but sadly, White Castle no longer is in western Missouri/eastern Kansas. Whataburger is supposedly coming to Kansas City, thanks to one of its most famous connoisseurs, Patrick Mahomes.

There’s an NFL game in 70 minutes. The Ravens and Steelers were supposed to play on Thanksgiving. Baltimore had COVID-19 issues, and it was moved to Sunday. The Ravens had MORE COVID issues, then it was moved to Tuesday, and then to Wednesday.

The NFL has played only one Wednesday game since 1950, and that was to work around the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Just read on the ESPN crawl where Maryland-Michigan and Kent St.-Miami (Ohio, not Florida) are off due to COVID. That’s football 2020 for you.