Author Archives: David

Miami–the lesser of two evils?

For the most part, I have been disgusted by this year’s edition of the tournament to determine the winner of the Stanley Cup, which, in case you might know, is the large silver trophy presented to the champion of the National Hockey League
The playoff system which has been in effect since 2013-14 SUCKS. IT SUCKS! Beavis and Butt-Head would be having a field day ridiculing this format, one which places way too much emphasis on so-called rivalries and fails to reward regular season excellence.
The Montreal Canadiens were nowhere to be found in this year’s playoffs. On the other hand, I realized how bad Les Habitants would be, and that hockey’s most storied franchise is undergoing a massive rebuild, the likes of which it has never undertaken. Montreal has won the Stanley Cup 23 times, by far the most of any franchise, but not since 1993, the last time a Canadian franchise won it.
The only good thing about the 2023 playoffs? The Maple Leafs won their first playoff series since 2004, defeating the odious Tampa Bay Lightning in six games in the first round. Sadly, the Leafs laid an egg in the next round, losing in five to the Florida Panthers, including three losses in Toronto.
For some reason, road teams win a lot more in the NHL playoffs than they do in the NBA or NFL.

The Panthers won the Eastern Conference last night, completing a four-game sweep of the Carolina Hurricanes.
I can’t stand any NHL teams which play in southern states. I would have been opposed to the NHL placing a team in New Orleans (even if I would have gone to a few games), because hockey doesn’t belong in cities where you can wear shorts to games year-round.
However, the Panthers playing for the Stanley Cup instead of the Hurricanes is by far the lesser of two evils. Here’s why:
The Florida Panthers have always been the Florida Panthers since their entry into the NHL in 1993.
The Carolina Hurricanes were once the Hartford Whalers, a team which was strongly supported even though the franchise was usually one of the worst in the NHL after they joined the league from the World Hockey Association in 1979.

I can (begrudgingly) accept a team which has been in Miami (technically, Sunrise) since day one. At least they didn’t rob another city of the NHL, besides taking a spot which could have been put to better use than to have a second team in Florida (the Lightning debuted the year before the Panthers).
I cannot, and will never, accept a franchise which moves from a city which loves hockey as much as Hartford and move to a place where you cannot play hockey outdoors at any point of the year.
Worse, the franchise moved from Connecticut to a place where basketball will always be king. The Hurricanes share the RBC Center with North Carolina State, which may not be thought of in the same breath as Duke and North Carolina, but true students of college basketball know just how important the Wolfpack have been to the growth of the game. Anyone who doesn’t know the story of Jim Valvano and the 1983 Wolfpack which came from nowhere and slayed the mighty Phi Slamma Jamma, the Houston team which featured (H)Akeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexel, needs a refresher course.

The Whalers, who began life as the New England Whalers when the WHA formed in 1972, played in Boston during their first two seasons, but struggled to find available dates at the Boston Garden, where the Celtics and Bruins were obviously a much higher priority, and other small arenas around the Hub. The franchise moved to Hartford in 1974, but was forced to return to Massachusetts–this time, Springfield–when the roof of the Hartford Civic Center collapsed from a heavy snowstorm in early 1978.
When the NHL and WHA finally agreed to a “merger” in 1979, the Bruins were vehemently opposed to the Whalers joining the NHL, but president John Ziegler insisted the franchise be part of any agreement, since the Whalers were the only remaining WHA team in the United States which was on sound financial footing. Boston was given a concession when the Whalers were forced to drop “New England” and change to “Hartford”.
The Edmonton Oilers, Quebec Nordiques and Winnipeg Jets were the other three WHA teams taken into the NHL. The Birmingham Bulls and Cinicnnati Stingers were forced to disband.
The “merger” was more like the NHL holding the four WHA teams hostage. Each WHA team could protect only four players, with all other players’ rights reverting to their original NHL teams. Also, the Whalers, Oilers, Jets and Nordiques were placed at the bottom of the 1979 NHL entry draft.
Fortunately for the Oilers, they were able to protect Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier, two of the cornerstones of their dynasty of the 1980s.
The Whalers created some excitement in their first NHL season when Mister Hockey himself, Gordie Howe, played with sons Mark and Marty. Also, former NHL standouts Dave Keon and Bobby Hull were part of that 1979-80 club, one which finished below .500 and was swept out of the playoffs in three games.
Hartford soon sank to the bottom of the NHL, where they had a permanent lease alongside the equally pitiful Colorado Rockies (New Jersey Devils starting in 1982-83), and later, the Pittsburgh Penguins, with the Jets, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, and two of the NHL’s Original Six, the Red Wings and Maple Leafs, rotating in from time to time.
The Whalers won one playoff series in their 18 NHL seasons in Hartford, sweeping the Nordiques in the first round in 1986.

The beginning of the end for the franchise was a one-two punch.
The first was the NHL’s hiring of Gary Bettman as commissioner in 1993. Bettman was a high-ranking NBA official, and helped guide David Stern’s grandiose plans to turn the league into a global powerhouse, which it has become.
In 1988, the NBA expanded for the first time under Stern to Charlotte and Miami.
Bettman soon followed Stern’s lead, placing expansion teams in San Jose, Tampa, Miami and Anaheim from 1991 through 1993, plus allowing the Minnesota North Stars to move to Dallas and become the Dallas Stars.
Hartford’s second gut punch came during the 1994 lockout, when Peter Karmanos bought the franchise. Soon thereafter, Karmanos demanded a new facility from the state of Connecticut, or he would move the team to a southern locale.
Bettman had to be salivating over another southern city getting the NHL.

Sadly for Whaler fans, Connecticut’s governor at the time, John Rowland, deluded himself and many others in Hartford the state could attract the New England Patriots away from Foxborough, where they had played since 1971. Therefore, Rowland was focused only on the NFL, not on the NHL.
Prior to the 1996-97 season, Karmanos screwed Hartford good by demanding fans buy 11,500 tickets or else lose the team. Karmanos made this next to impossible by (a) raising ticket prices 20 percent, (b) eliminating all partial season plans, meaning it was all 41 home games or bust, and (c) raising the deposit required to hold the season ticket by 750 percent.
Karmanos’ strategy from day one was to go south, and he announced the Whalers were leaving in the summer of 1997, even though there was no agreement with a new location.

North Carolina turned out to be the new home of the Whalers. The team would be renamed the Hurricanes, play two seasons in Greensboro, then move into the new arena in Raleigh under construction for NC State.
Hockey in a state where basketball, NASCAR and the NFL (thanks to the Panthers) would always be the most popular sports was, and still is, very stupid.
I vomited when the Hurricanes defeated the Oilers for the 2006 Stanley Cup. I was queasy when the Hurricanes made the 2002 final, but thank God the Red Wings stopped them. I will throw up again when the Hurricanes make it back to the final.

Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about that this year. The Panthers are far from my favorite, but they’ve never been anywhere but South Florida, and they didn’t take away a team from someone else, so they’re much more palatable than the Hurricanes.
The Panthers did the right thing Wednesday by picking up the Prince of Wales Trophy, awarded to the Eastern Conference champion.
This bullshit about not picking up a conference championship trophy has to stop. I find it asinine a team wins 12 playoff games, is rewarded for it, then says “nah, we don’t want the award” because supposedly “the Stanley Cup is all that there is”.
I was disgusted when the Blues reached the final in 2019 and refused to handle the Clarence Campbell Bowl, given to the Western Conference champion. Your first final in 49 years and you don’t give a damn? That trophy was quite an accomplishment, given the Blues had the worst record in the NHL at Thanksgiving 2018 and fired coach Mike Yeo.
Thankfully, in recent years, more teams have seen fit to handle the conference championship trophies.
Sidney Crosby has been captain of four Penguin teams to reach the final. He didn’t pick it up in 2008, and his team lost to the Red Wings. He picked it up in 2009, and the Stanley Cup was soon back in Pittsburgh for the first time in since 1992. Crosby repeated this in 2016 and 2017, and each time, the Penguins ended up winning the grand prize.
(Mario Lemieux picked up the Prince of Wales Trophy each time the Penguins won the Wales Conference championship in 1991 and ’92. Pittsburgh won the Cup each time.)
As much as I can’t stand Alex Ovechkin, at least he didn’t treat the Prince of Wales Trophy like it had a deadly disease when the Capitals reached the 2018 Finals. He picked it up and skated it with his happy teammates. Washington went on to defeat Vegas for the Cup.
When the Lightning won the East in 2015, captain Steven Stamkos didn’t even LOOK at the Prince of Wales Trophy. Tampa lost in the Finals to Chicago.
Stamkos reversed course each of the previous three seasons, electing to pick up the trophy after the Lightning clinched a berth in the Finals. Tampa won the Cup in 2020 (vs. Dallas) and 2021 (vs. Montreal) before losing in 2022 vs. Colorado.

The Golden Knights and Stars are going to overtime in Dallas. The home team must win or Vegas hosts Florida to open the Finals next week. If Vegas wins in Dallas, it will be interesting to see if it picks up the Campbell Bowl. If Vegas has to go home and win a Game 5 Saturday, I’m sure it will pick the trophy up in front of the home fans, much like the Panthers did.

Again, sorry for going so long without posting and going on and on about a hockey team which hasn’t existed since 1997. Don’t give me the bullshit about the Hurricanes being the current incarnation of the Whalers. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a lie.

Capital traffic and sporting headaches

What is it about state capitals and traffic?
I lived for nine years in Baton Rouge, where the capitol and state offices are at the western edge of the city along the Mississippi River, but the majority of population lives to the east.
Today, I was stuck in a parking lot at an exit off of Interstate 80/35 in Des Moines. Lucky for me, I did not have to go any farther north, because the traffic was worse.
The Iowa capitol and state offices are at the southern edge of Des Moines along Interstate 235. Most of the population lives to the north and east, and that makes I-80/35 look like the end of a football game in Ames or Iowa City.
Topeka has the same problem: state capitol and offices on the east side, most of the population living to the south and west.
As for other capitals, I’ve been to or through Lincoln, Oklahoma City, Austin, Little Rock, Jackson, Montgomery, Tallahassee, Atlanta, Columbia and Nashville, but don’t have enough experience to say much.
Frankfort is way too small to have traffic. The Commonwealth of Kentucky plopped down the capital there because it’s halfway between Louisville and Lexington. Good move. If you’re driving on I-64 between the big cities, be sure to stop in Frankfort to visit the Kentucky capitol and its beautiful floral clock.

Considering what’s happened the last two weeks, traffic was a welcome distraction.
I had a bad case of tonsillitis the week of March 20. Kelsey Lahey Templeman, Dr. Custer’s physician assistant, prescribed me penicillin and dexamethasone, and that cleared it up quickly.
Then there’s the world of sports.

I’m still angry over the way LSU shamed itself in what should have been one of the university’s greatest moments. It’s embarrassing to think people representing the school you (barely) graduated from could act like that.

I did not watch one second of the game live. I slept through it. In fsact, I had a dream while napping that LSU won when Alexis Morris tapped the ball straight into the basket off of a throw-in with two-tenths of a second remaining. There was then a long delay as the officials determined whether or not Morris tapped the ball straight towards the basket, or she caught it first, which would have invalidated the basket.
Under basketball rules at all levels, if there is fewer than four-tenths of a second remaining on the clock, a player may not catch and shoot. This rule was brought about from a 1990 NBA game in which the Knicks’ Trent Tucker caught a inbounds pass with one-tenth of a second left, turned around and drained a 3-pointer to defeat the Bulls at Madison Square Garden. In fact, here’s a link to Tucker’s shot on YouTube:

I avoided looking for the result until approximately two hours after the game ended. I accidentally surfed to ESPN’s home page, and there was a big picture of Kim Mulkey smiling and wearing another ridiculous outfit.
Then I saw a headline about Caitlin Clark, Iowa’s superstar and the National Player of the Year, receiving a technical foul for supposed disrespect towards referee Lisa Jones.
Clark had to sit out much of the first half with three fouls, as Jones and her colleagues, Pualani Spurlock-Welch and Michol Murray, thought the game was about them, not the Tigers or the Hawkeyes. (Where was Dee Kantner, arguably the greatest woman to ever officiate the sport?)
Forty fouls in a Division I national championship game? FORTY? An average of a foul a minute is asinine. That’s what you expect out of a middle school game, not the highest level of collegiate basketball.
I hope LSU has extra money in the budget for rings for Jones, Spurlock-Welsh and Murray. I have heard enough bitching about MLB umpire Angel Hernandez, but I’ve never seen him call anything as egregious as what this trio of robbers did to Iowa.
Jones, Spurlock-Welsh and Murray remind me of another infamous trio of incompetent officials–Patrick Turner, Gary Cavaletto and Todd Prukop, the three NFL zebras who suddenly came down with cataracts when the Rams’ Nickell Robey-Coleman flagrantly interfered with the Saints’ Tommylee Lewis in the NFC championship game in January 2019.

I thought about going to Baton Rouge for an LSU baseball series. Not happening now. I’m still angry about LSU’s disgraceful display in Dallas.
Why should I be surprised? LSU has embarrassed itself so many times over the years it’s now commonplace.
This was far from the worst. Covering up rape by football players takes the cake. Add in the former football coach–married with four children–acting like a frat boy towards female students working in the office, women’s tennis coaches ignoring a rape complaint by one of their players (committed by a football player) and former men’s basketball coach Will Wade breaking every rule in the NCAA manual before he was finally shown the door, and I wonder why I bother supporting that school anymore.

The Masters started today.
I will not watch.
I hate everything about The Masters, especially the haughty attitude of Augusta National members and golf fans who think The Masters is the only tournament that matters.
Memo to those who dismiss the other majors: The Open Championship started SIXTY-TWO YEARS before The Masters. Golf started in SCOTLAND, not the United States.
I’ll look at the leaderboard. But I will not watch a single drive, chip or putt.
The Masters was a great reason to escape Russell. My parents will be glued to it.
Worse, Brooks Koepka, one of the assholes who took the Saudi blood money to join LIV Golf, is tied for the first-round lead.

The West Des Moines Sheraton. A happy place. Reminds me of good times. I have work to do, but there will also be enough time to slip away to Omaha for Pibb Zero, and maybe to the Quad Cities for some hard-to-find sausage.
Time to stop for now. I don’t need to raise my blood pressure.

Adios, Arizona

Thirty years ago Saturday, Arizona became just the second No. 2 seed in the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament to lose its first round game, falling to Santa Clara in Salt Lake City.
The Broncos’ star was a previously unknown Canadian named Steve Nash.
Ironically, Nash would one day bring much joy to basketball fans in the Grand Canyon State by becoming arguably the greatest player to wear a Phoenix Suns uniform. I would put Nash behind Alvan Adams and Walter Davis, but my memory is way too good.

Today, history repeated itself for the Wildcats in Sacramento.
Despite being seeded No. 2 in the South behind top overall seed Alabama, more than a few picked Arizona to reach the Final Four in Houston. Some even had the Wildcats to cut down the nets at NRG Stadium on the night of 3 April, which would have been Arizona’s second national championship. The Wildcats won it all in 1997 in an overtime thriller vs. defending champion Kentucky.
Instead of practicing tomorrow at Golden 1 Center (which should not be the home of an NBA team) in preparation for a date with Missouri, Arizona will be boarding a plane for the long and painful flight to Tucson.
Arizona met its Waterloo this time at the hands of Princeton in embarrassing fashion, going scoreless over the final 4:45 of a 59-55 loss to the Ivy League tournament champion.
The Wildcats led by 12 points with 11:50 to go and somehow lost this game?

Memo to U of A president Dr. Robert C. Robbins: DO NOT consider a move to the Big 12. No. Don’t tilt at that windmill, even if your archrival in Tempe wants to jump.
First, the Wildcat football program is a mess. It can’t stay out of the cellar in the Pac-12 South unless Colorado goes full tank like it did last year.
Second, if your basketball program is going to lay dinosaur-sized eggs like this one and the one in 1993, why test your luck in the Big 12 against the program with the most wins in NCAA history, a Houston program which has regained its place among the elite for the first time since Phi Slamma Jamma, an up-and-coming Kansas State program, plus consistently strong teams in Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma State and West Virginia? Once UCLA goes to the Big Ten, there’s no reason Arizona shouldn’t swallow the minnows remaining in the Pac-12 pool.
Third, Orlando is Disney World and a whole bunch of crap. Playing UCF will do nothing for you.

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.

Fly Eagles Fly (SIGH)

I have zero love whatsoever for the two teams in Super Bowl LVII.
I dislike the Eagles. I do not like their uniforms, which they have worn since 1996. The shade of green is disgusting, there’s too much fucking black and the Eagle head is lazy and cartoonish.
Unfortunately, the Eagles’ opponent is one team I despise. I despise this team as much as any in American professional sports right now.

The Chiefs.
That’s right, I despise the Kansas City Chiefs. I cannot stand them.
Chiefs fans have become arrogant and entitled since the drafting of one Patrick T. Mahomes II in 2017. Since Mahomes took over from Alex Smith as the starting quarterback before the 2018 season, Chiefs fans (Chiefs Kingdom according to the nauseating Mitch Holthus and every other media shill) have felt it is their GOD-GIVEN RIGHT to be in the Super Bowl.
I felt Saints fans at times have gone off the deep end. The trolling of the Falcons for blowing the 28-3 lead in Super Bowl LI has got to stop. It’s been six freaking years. Matt Ryan and Tom Brady are long gone from their respective teams.
Saints fans need to be grateful they have a Super Bowl championship. Many cannot or will not remember how wretched the franchise was for most of its existence prior to Sean Payton and Drew Brees arriving in New Orleans in 2006.
However, nothing compares to what Chiefs fans have been like over the last five seasons.
Many forget how bad the Chiefs were just 10 years ago, when they went 2-14 twice within five seasons and had a massive egotist (Scott Pioli) as general manager and a head coach (Todd Haley) who had no business being a head coach at any level, especially the NFL.
Those under 45 also cannot remember how bad the Chiefs were before Marty Schottenheimer’s arrival as coach in 1989. I remember, because there were some very BAD teams in Kansas City in the1980s when I first started to watch the sport.

Patrick Mahomes has been compared by many to Michael Jordan.
I hate Jordan, no doubt, but to compare Mahomes, who has only been in the NFL for five seasons and won one championship, to Jordan, who won six in eight seasons with the Bulls, is preposterous.
I’m sick of Arrowhead Stadium being called the greatest venue in sports.
Packers fans would like to have word with those of you who worship Arrrowhead. Same with Red Sox and Cubs fans. Or those in college football.

Two years ago, I was faced with a Super Bowl between the Chiefs and the Tom Brady-led Buccaneers. I hoped the Chiefs would win, because I was sick and tired of Brady.
Kansas City laid an ostrich-sized egg and lost 31-9. I was pissed at the Chiefs for basically handing Tampa Bay the game. Might as well have stayed home.
I also did not watch one down of the Chiefs’ victory vs. the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. I was so pissed when the Chiefs won. God I hate the Chiefs.
Super Bowl LIII between the Rams and Patriots was one I didn’t watch until the second half. I hated Brady and Belichick, but I was just as pissed about the Rams being there, since they were gifted the NFC championship when the officials went blind on a blatant pass interference/illegal hit vs. a Saints receiver.
I held my nose and hoped the Rams could knock Jesus Christ off his pedestal. Instead, the Rams offense stayed back in Los Angeles, and New England won 13-3.

That’s it. I’ve had enough of this. Hopefully the Eagles win and we can move on with life. I’ve got a very bad feeling.

I apologize in advance for this post. Nothing else needs to be said but…
























LBJ punches out, Foreman punches in

Today is the 50th anniversary of a landmark Supreme Court case (one which I will not name, nor will I discuss), the death of a former President of the United States, and the birth of a sports legend.

Lyndon Baines Johnson, the Texan who succeeded to the presidency when Lee Harvey Oswald (probably) put a bullet in John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s head one November Friday afternoon in Dallas, died a little after 1600 Central Standard Time on 22 January 1973, approximately 52 hours after his successor, Richard Milhous Nixon, took the Oath of Office for his second term.
LBJ was death warmed over during the last several months of his life. In his 2011 biography, then-Louisiana Gov Edwin Edwards noted just how terrible the former president looked when he attended a memorial service for U.S. Representative Hale Boggs in New Orleans on 4 January, 18 days before LBJ succumbed to his fifth (recorded) heart attack.
In 1955, LBJ nearly died from a massive coronary, brought on by his heavy smoking, poor diet and the stress of being Senate Majority Leader. He tried to keep smoking, but Lady Bird and their daughters had to persuade him to quit. Unfortunately, LBJ returned to the nasty habit immediately after leaving the White House, and smoked heavier in his last four years than he did before the 1955 incident. In fact, LBJ started puffing away as soon as he boarded the plane to return to Texas following Nixon’s first inauguration in 1969.

LBJ’s death was announced live on the CBS Evening News by Walter Cronkite. After wrapping up his report on the Supreme Court decision, Cronkite was reporting on the stock market when he received a call from Tom Johnson (no relation), a LBJ spokesman, from the ranch in Johnson City. LBJ was stricken in his bed, and although a medical helicopter arrived almost immediately to transport him to a hospital in San Antonio, it was too late.
It was fitting Cronkite reported LBJ’s death live, since it brought the reporter and the politician full circle.
Cronkite became the Most Trusted Man in America in the hours after JFK’s assassination, including the announcement that LBJ would be taking the Oath of Office to succeed the fallen leader of the free world.

Less than three hours after LBJ was pronounced dead, Joe Frazier was set to defend his World Heavyweight Championship vs. George Foreman in Jamaica.
Foreman, a gold medalist at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, entered the fight 37-0 with 34 knockouts, but many experts felt he had fought nothing but punching bags and tomato cans, and would be no match for the powerful Frazier, who was 22 months removed from his pummeling of Muhammad Ali in the “Fight of the Century”.
On the other hand, Frazier defended his championship only twice since defeating Ali against men named Terry Daniels and Ron Stander. The fight against Daniels took place in New Orleans the night before Super Bowl VI, and it was just as one-sided as the Cowboys’ win vs. the Dolphins. Four months later, Stander was forced to retire after the fourth round in Omaha.
Frazier’s fight against Foreman did not reach the fourth round, but not because Smoking Joe was unstoppable.
Quite the opposite.
Foreman came out firing with hard rights mixed in with quick lefts, and less than two minutes into the bout, Joe Frazier went down.
Howard Cosell, describing the fight for ABC’s Wide World of Sports (that wouldn’t air until the following Saturday; the live closed -circuit feed was narrated by Don Dunphy), blurted out one of the most iconic lines in the history of sports broadcasting.
Arthur Mercante, the third man in the ring for Ali-Frazier two years prior and possibly the greatest referee in the history of the sport, gave Frazier a standing eight count.
Foreman was just as relentless after the knockdown, raining down blows on Frazier and scoring a second knockdown a minute later. Just before the bell rang to end the opening round, Foreman scored a third knockdown.
It got no better in the second round. Foreman was more ruthless than the Israeli army during the Six-Day War, and scored three more knockdowns of the seemingly invincible Frazier.
On the sixth knockdown, Mercante said enough was enough. George Foreman was the new Heavyweight Champion of the World via technical knockout.
George Foreman was hated by many boxing fans for his angry demeanor, and was widely ridiculed when he lost the championship to Ali in October 1974 in “The Rumble in the Jungle” in Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo).
After retiring in 1977 following a loss to Jimmy Ellis, Foreman became a born-again Christian. When he returned to the ring in 1987, he became the most popular figure in the sport.
On 5 November 1994, George Foreman, five days away from his 46th birthday, knocked out Michael Moorer in the 10th round to capture the championship almost 20 years to the day after he lost it.

The Chiefs won yesterday. ICK. The Bengals are leading. ICK. It means the AFC championship might be in Kansas City. PUKE.

Not handicapped, not pregnant? Park here anyway!

I am staying at a hotel (Marriott St. Louis West) where rooms cost close to $200 a night, often more, and the room doesn’t have a microwave. It’s not the end of the world, but it would be nice, considering the upper end hotels I’ve lodged at recently (Marriott West Des Moines, Sheraton West Des Moines) have microwaves in the rooms.
There isn’t even a microwave in the concierge lounge. There is one in the lobby where you can buy snacks, but it’s a minor inconvenience to travel seven floors down to use it.
I’m using my points for this stay, so at least I’m not paying for it. I’m not saying I will never stay at this hotel again, because the rooms are nice and it’s in a quiet area with easy access to Interstate 64, but it would be helpful if I could heat up leftovers.

Today’s outstanding citizen award goes to an entitled old woman (I won’t dignify this female by calling her a lady).
I stopped briefly at a Schnuck’s grocery store on Olive Blvd. in Creve Coeur. This woman pulls into a spot right next to the store entrance which is reserved for expecting mothers. There is a stork on the sign and it is clearly marked.
This woman looked like her childbearing years ended around 1997, and she might have children old enough to have reached menopause.
She didn’t even have a handicapped permit. There was no hangtag on her rear view mirror, nor was there a handicapped license plate (Missouri has front and rear plates, unlike Kansas, so it’s much easier to figure it out). Heck, she didn’t have a walker or some other mobility device, and she wasn’t using one of the store carts inside.
If the woman would have parked there with a handicapped permit, I might have been a little ticked off, but nowhere near as ticked off as I was.
I crossed paths with her inside the store and wanted to speak my mind. I just muttered something under my breath and walked on.
She happened to exit the store as I was about to back out. I thought about rolling down my window and saying something, but nah.
I hope this woman is proud of herself.
People who park in designated handicapped places without the proper identification are lazy and beyond rude. What, you can’t walk a few extra feet?
Unfortunately, there is no regulation for expectant mother parking places. Some ugly dude could park there, and I’m sure there are thousands of dickheads who do it daily.
I have noticed more and more businesses reserving close-up parking spaces for first responders and military members.
I completely respect every person who chooses to enter the mlitary, chooses to practice medicine, chooses to become a police officer, a firefighter, a paramedic, or a nurse. These people have lives in their hands every day, and the stress must be unimaginable for a sheltered fatass like me who has a no-stress job.
On the other hand, first responders have been getting quite a few privileges since 9/11, and more since the COVID-19 pandemic. Maybe too many.
Then again, I probably shouldn’t rant about a parking space or two.

I’m here until Sunday morning. Going to be too nasty in Kansas to drive home tomorrow. I’ll be okay.