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Posts Tagged ‘football’

Remember when the Dowager Maggie Smith on Downton Abbey asked her grand daughter, “What’s a weekend?” Well, this past weekend was jam-packed between our new niece’s getaway with girlfriends, to birthday parties. Bob and I took a deep breath and dove right in! You see the Bride was working in the ER and the Groom was in the Medical ICU, so we were prepared to have some super grandparenting Fun.

But first, we went out to dinner with friends. The City House is just around the corner and it’s famous for its pork belly pizza with an egg on top. I know how that sounds, but believe me it tastes divine. This particular stretch of our neighborhood is one of Ms Bean’s favorite spots; and it became our go-to morning walk once I discovered the fig tree behind the restaurant!

Turkish food was next up on Friday when our newly discovered niece rolled into town with her friends. Tamara has a joie de vivre, her smile is infectious. She told me her youngest son is playing the guitar and he can’t wait to meet the Rocker. I told her I’d meet her in the morning at the Mother Church of Country Music for a backstage tour.

Honky Tonk Row was bustling; New Englanders were in town for a game against the Titans. Veteran’s Day became almost an after thought… since I was thinking about the latest mass shooting in California at a country western bar in Thousand Oaks.

The young white man, the killer, was a Marine Vet, and one of the men he shot was also a Marine Vet.

Our newly elected (R) senator from TN responds by saying we “must” protect the 2nd Amendment…

12 people dead, and the NRA tells physicians to “…stay in their lane?” And that became the rallying cry on social media for trauma surgeons and ER docs: #ThisisMyLane.

My lane is a pregnant woman shot in a moment of rage by her partner. She survived because the baby stopped the bullet. Have you ever had to deliver a shattered baby? . What’s yours?

Gun violence is our own personal hell, our beautiful American patriotic duty to defend –  while guns send an average of 8,300 children to hospitals each and every year! https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46186510

I thanked my brothers and my Father-in-Law for their service in Vietnam and during WWII on Facebook after picking up the Love Bug from Hebrew School. I had to pass an armed guard to enter the Temple, I had to go through a metal detector to enter the Ryman the day before. Someone searched my bag. I wonder when my grandchildren will start practicing “active shooter” drills.

The Pumpkin told me he loved the weekend. But he’s conflicted because on the one hand you get to play, but also you have to clean the house! I know what you mean little guy.

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Well, not really “knew” him, but I did meet him once, at a football game. It was back in the ’80s, after we’d moved home to NJ. My brother Mike was the President and General Manager of the Minnesota Vikings, and he invited us to an NFL game in Giants Stadium when the Vikings were playing an exhibition game against NY – they are in different leagues. I think.

Really, I know nothing about football. I don’t even like to watch it. I love watching basketball, and soccer because I played those sports as a girl. But football, even in high school, didn’t interest me in the least. Bob, on the other hand, loves watching football and was excited to get up close and personal.

Except we were seated way up high, as far away from the field as the press, in the owner’s box. Butlers served us food and drink. I know it was around Halloween because a pre-teen Bride was wearing a pair of cheap skeleton earrings in that picture. The one I took of her with Trump. The one I can’t find for the life of me. He was larger than life, and his hair wasn’t an issue yet. The rumor going around was that he’d broken up with his wife, Ivana, and was dating a model.

In fact, soon-to-be wife number two, Marla Maples was supposedly waiting for him in the wings of the arena, hidden from photographers. Some NY paper later published the headline, “Best Sex I Ever Had,” referring to his new conquest. I remember this too because I bought Bob a tie with that headline enmeshed in some other text.

Trump was sweet to my daughter, generous with a warm handshake, and some polite small talk, before turning to my brother to talk business. There was an energy shift when he walked into the room; as if one gladiator, one titan of industry had come to see another. They were there to cement a friendship and to see if there was a team Trump might be able to buy.

Which is why it didn’t surprise me to hear Trump defend the Patriots and Tom Brady this morning. He does love the NFL, he walks in those owner’s box corridors of power.

And after listening to network media try and figure out what Trump’s allure is to Republican voters, I found my answer on Piers Morgan’s Twitter feed. Morgan was the first winner of The Apprentice, he worked closely with Trump for months and knew him pretty well. He’s also an old style newsman, who is not afraid to say what he thinks. In a nutshell, Morgan thinks Trump has a double digit lead in the polls for one reason – because he doesn’t apologize.! 

It’s literally not in his DNA to ever say he’s sorry. I watched him squirm under the Today Show’s repeated questions around his “hero” remark:  “Well, then why did Savannah start off by saying that I said that he was not a war hero? I never said that. I said he was a war hero, Matt,” Trump said. “So you misrepresent — just like everybody else.” http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-john-mccain-controversy-2015-7#ixzz3hHuJJY3s

And he didn’t say Mexicans are rapists; he said the Mexican government sends us their criminals, some of whom are rapists, and on and on – he clarifies, equivocates, and turns the table, but he never EVER apologizes. I once heard him say, “I try hard not to ever make a mistake.” And that was about the best he could do. He’s like that guy who says, “Honey, I’m sorry IF what I said hurt your feelings;” which implies it certainly didn’t hurt his feelings, if he had any to begin with… except Trump won’t even say that!

And we Americans love a good Master of Ceremonies, someone who can bring the three ring political circus we call the Hill under control, the benevolent Boss Man who has to fire people from time to time, the shark in the water who never looks back. No Apologies. We love that charismatic guy with the funny hair and the balls made of steel, who thinks nothing of a little deflate-gate. He’s larger than life, with the money to play and an ego to match, and God help us if we elect him President.

My Big Brother Mike

My Big Brother Mike

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So it’s Sunday, and while just about everyone I know is melting Velveeta and salsa together for Super Bowl munchies, let’s talk about the game that really matters – basketball!

Last night my beloved Blue Devils came from behind to beat the Cavaliers 69 to 63 right here in Cville at John Paul Jones Arena. Y’all know that Bob went to Duke, and the Bride graduated from Duke when Shane Battier was the major heart throb. We also had a close cousin go to Duke Medical School. So you can see that we come from a long line of Cameron Crazies, that our blood runs Blue – and royal blue, not that wimpy Carolina blue.

Even if the Bride went to UVA Med and we’ve been living and working in Wahooville for nearly a decade, this hasn’t changed my allegiance.

What, you didn’t know I was competitive? Didn’t I tell you about my halcyon basketball days at Camp St Joseph for Girls? This is about as close any woman my age can come to understanding warfare. That tight band of brothers/sisters we fought with, running up and down those pine planks; sweating, grunting, shoving, grimacing and feeling like our hearts were about to explode. I loved basketball, with a capital B!

Football, meeh.

Anyway, last night Duke delivered a must-see game if you’d like to know what it takes to win. And here’s the simple trick that I first heard about back there on Lake St Joseph, it’s called making “fast break points,” or REBOUND. When the opposing team has the ball, and they take that lay-up shot and it bounces off the rim, that’s your cue. You jump higher. You take possession of the ball. And you run like hell down the court. Swoosh. Their loss becomes your gain.

Time and time again, you keep on doing this, because you see all the other players are still trying to unstick their eyes from that near-miss basket, pivot their feet to go the other way, and stay in the game. Their brains are stuck for a second, and the smart team takes advantage of that. They end up in their court with most of the guards still shaking their heads on the other side of the center line…

Virginia lost their first game in 21 home games to a packed stadium last night decked out in orange. And Duke was behind for a good portion of the time, that’s another secret – You just never give up! “Duke’s 11-possession, 28-point explosion in the final eight minutes against Virginia turned the game — and perhaps the state of the ACC race — on its head.” cores.espn.go.com/ncb/recap?gameId=400587955

So, bring it Super Bowl. In my mind you just cannot compete with Travelocity’s Gnome, who was making the rounds in Cville this weekend. Life lessons aren’t learned in a feudal football jersey, with concussion injuries and too many sexual and domestic assault cases involving players in the news:

“The crime was horrific and the verdict stunningly swift. Two former Vanderbilt University football players are facing the possibility of decades in prison after it took a jury less than four hours to convict them for their roles in a 2013 sexual assault of an unconscious woman. Two more former football players await trial.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/29/us/vanderbilt-rape-trial-didnt-stir-students-on-campus.html?_r=0

Lessons happen when we reach higher and run faster than any opponent. And when we can find a gnome at Bodo’s!

Twitter: @roaminggnome

Twitter: @roaminggnome

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Extra extra, read all about it! I’ve been reading about the comparisons to Steubenville for awhile. So it comes as no surprise that A) Anonymous has taken up the plight of two young girls in Maryville, Missouri and 2) the alleged rapists are football players. What is surprising, besides our government being open for business this morning, is that the Nodaway County Prosecutor who dismissed the case, has now asked the court for a special prosecutor to review the facts.http://edition.cnn.com/2013/10/16/us/missouri-rape-case/

Nodaway County, nod.away, could the name get any more Shakespearian?

I won’t bore you with the facts as we know them so far. Except for the fact that the encounter was filmed, in a similar vein to Steubenville, but the video was erased that same evening and evidently cannot be retrieved. Maybe these football players are smarter than their Ohio counterparts…maybe the detectives at “Law and Order, SVU” should be called in? I’m not going to reiterate my previous opinions – that “NO” means “no” and  “…a rape is a rape is a rape, no matter who you are or where you live.” https://mountainmornings.net/2013/01/04/a-rape-is-a-rape/

What I do want to focus on here is the Holy Grail of high school, football. Because it’s usually not the captain of the chess club who finds himself hauled into court over a sex crime is it. I was reading a fascinating article about our American obsession with sports on the bike the other day, I know, the irony. Still, Amanda Ripley of the Atlantic makes an excellent argument against school sports in her article “The Case Against High School Sports.” http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/10/the-case-against-high-school-sports/309447/

Sports are embedded in American schools in a way they are not almost anywhere else. Yet this difference hardly ever comes up in domestic debates about America’s international mediocrity in education…When I surveyed about 200 former exchange students last year, in cooperation with an international exchange organization called AFS, nine out of 10 foreign students who had lived in the U.S. said that kids here cared more about sports than their peers back home did. A majority of Americans who’d studied abroad agreed.

This is required reading for everybody since Ripley dares to expose the tax money we Americans spend on athletics, which includes coaches, buses to away games etc (instead of say, math) and the culture that goes along with an adoration of the body and not the mind. She shows us what happens when administrators  in failing schools actually suspend sports – surprise, discipline reports go way down, while teachers’ salaries went up along with their students’ academic scores.

And here is my last lesson. As the budget talks are stalled on the Hill in a Hail Mary pass from a team of women Senators, and before we start slashing music and art budgets in public schools around the country, I think every single school board member from Albemarle to Marin County should find out exactly how much their district is spending on sports. Subs usually are hired for the days a teacher travels to a game, finding and maintaining playing fields can be costly. There are insurance costs and athletic supplies and trainers, a sports budget can also hide under other line items, you’ll have to dig deep.

Schools have been known to spend a quarter of a million dollars to install and maintain a running track around a football field. I know.

Because at the end of the day, if we want to compete on a global level and we want our daughters to feel valued, we may have to revisit a creeping patriarchy that began with private schools at the turn of the last century. The fear of new immigrants led Teddy Roosevelt to say about the American Boy – “Hit the line hard; don’t foul out; don’t shirk.” He should have added, don’t rape.

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