Sunday, July 31, 2016

That Time Of Year

It's that time of year when all NFL teams are going to training camp, declaring their Super Bowl chances.

Yeah, right.

It's also that time when MLB teams that started out with playoff-chance declarations are now trading overpaid, under-achieving, so-called stars.

Things didn't quite work out the way they expected, or so they tell their fans.

It's also that time when Donald Trump continues to be the total, insensitive ass that he is, a racist isolationist who refuses to recognize ethnic or racial equality in this country, or anywhere else. Just ask Megyn Kelly or Khizr Khan.

What can we say? It's that time of year.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Philadelphia Feeling

The contrast in tone and temperament between the Republican and Democratic national conventions was stark.

Trump and Republicans painted a picture of an America I don't live in or recognize. A dark place full of fear, loathing and the racism only he can bring to a table.

The Democrats delivered a message of hope, prosperity and dreams come true going forward.

I prefer that direction and a positive outlook and not the dark, scary place Donald Trump thinks America is.

And by the way, there was no Twitter post about where you can buy Chelsea's dress as opposed to Ivanka's.

Trump wants to be president to promote his brand. Hillary wants to president to preserve ours.

Oh, by the way, the White Sox need to can Robin Ventura and hire a manger who won't let them keep blowing big leads. And it's nice to see the Cubs acquire a quality-character guy.

Problem is, fans don't care, as long as he strikes out people. Politicians can't serve with records like that. But athletes can play. Sad.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Monday Manic

What a Monday.

Cory Booker had his "Barack Obama" 2004 moment, for sure. If he is the future, bring it on.

Michelle Obama had her First Lady triumphant moment. Anyone notice that she was the only speaker from Monday who about whom Trump was afraid to tweet.

Elizabeth Warren had her attack-dog moment and she is so damn good at it. It clearly gets under Trump's skin because he can't stand watching her, listening to her get the best of him.

But in NFL headquarters, this just announced: Josh Gordon reinstated and Peyton Manning suspended for life.

And gosh darn it, the White Sox kept Cubs' fans silent this morning. Where have you gone Jake Arrieta? Just FedEx the Cy Young from last year to Zack Greinke, OK? Because that's how you've been pitching the last month-and-a-half. Like a mere mortal.

And kudos to Stephanie Ruhle, who did her best Sarah Silverman on MSNBC this morning and put two Bernie-or-bust candidates in tbeir place.

I love sports. I love politics. How come they are one and the same, more and more?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

RNC - Sadder and Sadder

The Republican National Convention has been a disaster from the get-go.
  • The shouting down of the Dump-Trumpsters
  • Melania's speech
  • Still Melania's speech
  • Cover-up for Melania's speech
  • Finally finding someone to take the blame for Melania's speech
  • The "air" kiss
  • Ted Cruz
  • Scott Baio (really, Scott Baio?)
Trump's kids said exactly what daddy told them to say. Trump's wife did too, unfortunately.

Did anyone expect Cruz to say anything different after the way Donald dissed his wife and father?

Mismanaged, mishandled, missed target. If this convention is an indication of how he's going to run the executive branch of government, we've got a big problem.

And Trump is it.

Off topic, kudos to ESPN First Take today for having an all-female panel. Impressive group of smart, intellectual sports writers.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Max, The Coach and The Donald

Watching Max Bretos and Jonathan Coachman sit in on ESPN2's First Take is refreshing. Newly First Take-anointed Max Kellerman and veteran Steven A will be hardpressed to be as insightful and intellectual.

Meanwhile, the RNC continues to disappoint. The entire tone has been anti-Hillary as opposed to feeling the love for Donald. Paul Ryan hardly mentioned him and is clearly rooting for Hillary so he can run against her in 2020. The vitriol is truly disgusting.

There are no arguments for Trump; only against Hillary. That's because there are no arguments for Trump. He is the argument. With the plagiarist wife and the well-heeled kids. And the three spouses to prove it.

Trump has no issue specifics. No foreign policy. No domestic policy. No economic policy. Unless you include misogyny and racism as policy planks.

Max Bretos and Jonathan Coachman for president and veep. Not necessarily in that order. Or they can take turns. Works for me. At least they're decisive and issue specific.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Watching Morning Joe. The crowd at Flannery's in Cleveland responded to the question, "Who here absolutely adores Donald Trump?" with one person in a packed room mildly applauding. To the same question on Hillary Clinton, half the room applauded. In Cleveland, where the RNC is going on. Where Chachi is speaking and Tim Tebow was announced as one but not the host-state governor. Where Mike Pence was OK to support the war in Iraq but not Hillary.

Good night, Donald. Drive home safely. Oh, btw, the room applauded raucously in support of the same question about the Indians. The baseball team, not the next ethnicity or nationality you will likely insult.

And, oh yeah, Donald spent three-quarters of his time introducing Pence as his runningmate reacting instead to a Clinton-supporter ad featuring a hardcore Republican condemning Trump as too maniacal.

Have fun, Donald.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Frumping for Trump

Just read the AARP Bulletin article on Trump v Hillary on Social Security. Donald has no specific plan whatsoever to maintain it. None. Zero. Zip. Hillary, meanwhile, will preserve and grow it.

Please do not vote for Trump if you value your future. There won't be one.

Meanwhile, played golf yesterday, with fav foursome partners Bernie and Nancy Tafoya in the Benes Open at Glendale Lakes, which is called "Lakes" for a reason. Me and Nancy, respectively, earned closest-to-the-pin honors.


Always a fun outing. Will be back next year. Good to see Pat Cassidy and Rich King there too.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Searching for ESPN

So I went up and down the TV dial on the treadmill at the gym looking for the British Open this morning. ESPN. ESPN2. Fox. FS1. NBCSN (Tour de France thing there). Aha, Golf Channel. Only took six guesses.

And there's Mike Tirico, anchoring the action for the NBC-owned property. He left ESPN, and certainly without the fanfare of Bill Simmons, Keith Olbermann or Colin Cowherd. And now Skip Bayless.

Is anyone left at ESPN? Anyone worthwhile, worth watching, besides Scott Van Pelt? Sports Center anchor Lindsey Czarniak is competent, but not the force of any of those who have left. And will be leaving (Mike Ditka, Ray Lewis, Cris Carter, Keyshawn Johnson and soon, Chris Berman, all on NFL Countdown). Neil Everitt and Stan Verett are on the West Coast, and their schtick is getting old. Kenny Mayne pops up where and when you least expect him. Precisely.

The ones worth watching there don't get near enough exposure. Like Van Pelt. Trey Wingo. Kenny Mayne.

Last one out the door at ESPN, turn out the lights. Lance Armstrong is no longer in the basement, churning away on his bike, keeping the power generator going like he did in the long-ago network promo with Dan Patrick.

Lights out in Bristol.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Just watching, just saying...

Just watched Wimbledon. Some exciting points between champion Andy Murray and Milos Raonic. But not the same intensity as if it would've been Federer instead of Raonic. Just didn't feel the tingle. Watched some CNN at different points, actually.

Watching MLB division races too. Not games, just races. Games are boring. Can order and have pizza delivered between pitches sometimes. Just wondering: did the Dodgers really fire Don Mattingly after three division titles so they could be where they are now? Mattingly is doing a great job with the Marlins, meanwhile.

And hello Cubs fans. What the heck is going on? Since starting 28-6, they are 24-29. Magic Joe Maddon has no answers (and no bullpen). And lately, no starting pitching. Jake Arrietta, since his no-no-clothes shot for ESPN, has been a mere mortal. Jon Lester has been the most-overpaid pitcher in all of baseball. And the Pirates and Cardinals are coming. Hard.

Here's a what-if for ya': what if the Cubs had successfully pried Joe Girardi away from the Yankees years ago instead of landing Maddon? And why isn't Theo Epstein signed beyond this year yet?

Eh, after waiting 107 years for a "next" World Series title, what's the difference between waiting 108?

Go Cubs go. And congrats, Andy Murray, for what it's worth. Novak and Rafa were not around for this one. Lessens the gravity of it a little. Just a little.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Proud to be an American

What an amazing day.

Watched the U.S.Olympic Track & Field Trials, from the birthplace of American track and field, Eugene, Oregon. Fantastic women's 10,000 meter race won by the incredible Molly Huddle. Wire to wire, over that distance. Incredible.

Still on. Not turning away.

Watched Serena Day at Wimbledon.  Incredible quality tennis in her finals win over Angelique Kerber. Her record-tying 22nd major title, drawing her even with Steffi Graf (although at silly, stuffy old England, she'd be Mrs. Agassi). As if the singles title didn't sizzle enough, she came back with big sis Venus to win the doubles title. Venus is in her 20th year competing at Wimbledon.

Between them, they have 29 Wimbledon titles, combined, in singles and doubles. No siblings will ever touch that.

Or be as classy. The way things have been in America lately, what a much-needed and welcome event. Something to smile and rejoice about, to be proud to be an American.

And I'm damn proud. Damn proud. Back tomorrow to trample on Trump though.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Shooting guns, firing blanks

Sad, so sad, watching the images from and hearing the news updates about Dallas. Trained, sophisticated gunmen firing at police. Protesting for Black Lives Matter, or at least the dead shooter said before they took him down. Sad.

Twelve cops shot, 5 dead. Sad. What had happened in Minnesota and Louisiana were bad enough, but this is not how to respond. Never. Ever.

All the shootings make you pause. We wake up here in Chicago mornings to news of the next drive-by shooting, kids shot, perhaps killed. Chicago has become a shooting gallery.

What is the problem? Is it guns? Assault weapons? Or the people who use them? How do they acquire them? Why do politicians express their grief and then vote not to restrict access, especially to those on no-fly and security-agency watch lists?

I'm tired of all this. It is time to see something/say something. I wish there was more. So wish. RIP to all those we have lost, for all the wrong reasons.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Of but not by or for the People

The amount of vitriol in the congressional hearing today with the FBI director was almost immeasureable. Ridiculous.

Wouldn't it be nice if for once the Democrats and Republicans agreed to do something good for us, for all of us? Like contain and eliminate the national debt? Like make us feel more confident in the supposedly recovering economy? Like make us feel more secure about our safety from a terrorist attack? Do you feel more secure now than you did on Sept. 12, 2001? Really?

They just want to embarrass each other, blame each other for everything that goes wrong and get re-elected at each other's expense.

At our expense.

I have no respect for such spiteful, hateful and ego-driven and egocentric people. I hope you don't either.

Rep. Chaffetz from Utah is a pig. The Republicans basically tried the case today that they wanted the FBI director to recommend be tried by the Justice Department.

If the Republicans get the  White House, they'd better be careful: they're going to get what they asked for. God help us. He'll need to.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Phone blues

My home phone rings a dozen times a day. A dozen. I'm home now, being a teacher. It is always an 800 number or Unknown Caller. Screw 'em. No, I don't want to answer your goddam survey about who I'm voting for and what issues I'm interested in.

I'm interested in balancing the budget, cutting the deficit and not having a racist pig as my president.

No, I'm not interested in reviving my self-published book. It did well when I published it the first time, and that's that. Yes, "Married Women Are (Still) Easy," but I did OK on it the first time around and that's that, like I said.

No, I don't want to renew my appliance warrantee extension policy that I never purchased in the first place.

No, I'm not interested in changing energy suppliers. I have plenty of energy and a company I pay a small fee to each year to come in and service my A/C and furnace. They also installed them when the house was built and replaced them when they wore down and still warrantee them for a reasonable, all-inclusive rate. So, alternate service suppliers, leave me alone anout that. I'm not interested.

What's that? Switch to AT&T/Direct TV? Not on your life!

Stop calling. And I'll stop complaining. Probably.