The Dodger

No, no, no, not Sandy Koufax or Jackie Robinson, or Fernando, or even that lefthanded pitcher they have now.

And not somebody from the 1960′s and the draft.

No, this is the guy who is commissioner of the NFL. That Dodger.

The guy who has tried to rewrite civil law in the United States. The guy who EARNED over $40,000,000 in 2013. The guy who really thinks EVERYBODY believes that he never knew anything.

I’m sorry, is he a graduate of Penn State? (Possible)

Or is he just a “Seinfeld” episode? (No, not intelligent enough)

He has a plan, but he’ll get back to us during the Super Bowl, probably during halftime, to explain the plan.

What this tells me is that that other plan, to have the Super Bowl halftime performers pay for that privilege, isn’t working out, so he needs something to fill that 45 minutes,

But, no, the real idea is to have the world forget about all of this in five months.

And have you ever noticed that independent investigations always turn out in favor of whomever hired the indy investigators? Think Penn State, again, both sides.

And have you noticed that in the middle of all of this the NFL sent out info saying that yeah, maybe, there’s about a 33% chance of head injuries if you play football?

Of course, you might also become concussed by banging your head in an elevator, but the NFL security staff is still trying to find video evidence to prove that theory. I bet they find that stuff really quickly.

And what committee were those four women hired to be on? What are they looking into? All these committees, all these studies, little common sense.

Meanwhile, all those people with really, really bad sunburns are still pissed about that Washington team.

Can’t wait for next week’s turmoil. (Moil, “Seinfeld” episode, right?)

At Least He Knows His Geography

Danny Ferry, all-time great basketball player at that bastion of American education, Duke, general manager of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.

Still has his job, despite in a phone call referring to another former Dukie, Luol Deng, as “having a little African in him.”

The guy’s from South Sudan, so here’s hoping he has more than “a little” African in him. Whatever that means.

Maybe Ferry got that info from the Duke coach, Mike Krajewski, or whatever it is, since those Duke guys are a really tight group.

Except, it seems, if you’re from Africa.

NBA headquarters, where race relations take precedence over NFL-style crimes, said what Ferry said was OK, because of the context is was said in. So that’s different from that former LA Clippers owner how?

You know what I hate, those players with a little Australian in them.

 

 

Great Movie, Too

“The Great Escape,” that is.

Earlier this month, a British officer who was a prisoner in the real Great Escape prison camp died. He was the guy next-in-line when the German guards found the escape hole, had to crawl back into the barracks.

Then last week, the actor who played the Mole, Archibald Ives, who tried to escape with Steve McQueen, died.

As did Richard Attenborough, the great British actor who played James Garner’s partner in the escape plan. And, come to think of it, James Garner died earlier this year.

Great movie, but the cast reunion list is, unfortunately, getting shorter.

We the What ?????

“We the T”

That’s what some genius at Temple has come up with as some kind of slogan.  I don’t think it came from the English department.  Maybe Foreign Languages.

Last year it was: “Temple Made.”  OK, taking some pride in the school.

BUT “WE THE T?”

This has set off a frenzy of copycats around the country, like “We the BYU,” “We the UMBC,” “We the ND,” “We the UN” (the University of Nebraska trying to give some love to its school of international studies … if it has one), and “We the TAMCC” (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi).

Coincidentally, Temple has just been put in a tie for 121st (with DePaul, Arizona, Colorado State, Clarkson) for top colleges in the country.

The top three are Princeton (We the PU), Harvard (We the H) and Yale (We the Y).

And I think that Florida is going a little off-the-board when it changed the “We” to “What” (What the F).  At least I think I heard that.

We the PSU

Yeah, those crazy Penn State kids again showed what’s really important in Happy Valley when they celebrated the news that the NCAA is letting them back in the hunt for a bowl game.

They even called for bringing back Joe Paterno as head coach, but when reminded that he’s dead began calling for Sue Paterno, Joe’s wife.  But I heard there may be a chance that they’ll unwrap that JoePa statue, put it on some kind of sled, and have it pulled along the sidelines.

About That First War

I, that is.

Continuing my reading on the subject, I read the three Barbara Tuchman books about the war, “The Guns of August,” “The Proud Tower,” The Zimmerman Telegram.”

“The Guns of August” has always been THE book to read about the start of the war, covering the month before the war and the first month of the war.  No sides, nothing about the USA, just the story of the blunders and hard-headedness that set everything in motion for the rest of the 20th Century.

“The Proud Tower” tells about the world in the 15 years before August, 1914, what the ruling governments in each country were like, why they fell into the trap of a little war in the Balkans. The most interesting chapter was on “The Socialists,” who were convinced it was time to get rid of ruling families and let the people take over. So at one of their late international congresses, most of these men and women decided that there would be no war because once the rulers called for volunteers, the workers would rise up and throw over all the Hapsburgs and Hohenzollerns and Windsors.

Oops…

Except for this Lenin guy in Russia, who said, no, let them have their war, the workers will fight because that’s what they’ll be told to do, then the countries will fall apart, and then we take over.  Knew his stuff, that guy.

Finally, “The Zimmerman Telegram.”

This brought the United States into the war, when representatives of the German government tried to get Mexico to take back Arizona, New Mexico and California, behind Pancho Villa, believe it or not, as well as get the Japanese to attack the West Coast of the U.S.

(Forward thinking by the Kaiser who believed that sooner or later the U.S. and Japan would fight for control of the Pacific.  Yeah, him and that Lenin guy were on to something.)

Anyway, British codebreakers, much as they did in World War II, cracked the German system and leaked the word to Woodrow Wilson.  And talking about hard-headedness, Wilson, in his self-righteous quest for peace at all costs, believed up to the last second that the Zimmerman telegram was probably a hoax because the Germans could never be so underhanded.

Anyway, if you want to read about and learn the basics about the Hundred-Years-Ago war, these are where you start.

And that’s it for today.  I swear, check back each week and there will be new stuff.  Honest.  I mean it.  Swear to God.

Catchin’ Up

***OK, how about that NFL?  If you want to be the star of the Super Bowl halftime show, you have to pay the NFL.

Well, c’mon.  Somebody has to pay the medical bills for all those messed-up former great players. The league has made it abundantly clear that it’s not doing it because all those guys were going to be messed up anyway, even if they didn’t play football.  YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUSLY INJURED PLAYING FOOTBALL.  Just ask Commish Roger the Dodger.

***Meanwhile, the NFL remains adamant that the term “Redskin” is a tribute to people with really bad sunburns, not an insult  to an entire race.

There’s no problem with Warriors and Braves.  They’re generic terms.  And even Indians.  Hey, instead of using a crazy smiling Injun head as a mascot, replace it with a crazy smiling Ghandi figure and everyone will say, “Oh, that kind of Indian.  Why didn’t you say so?”

So while media outlets and individual broadcasters are lining up to refer to that team as just “Washington,” the league office and Commish Roger the Dodger will fight for that name.

While at the same time fighting against those messed-up former great players who can’t walk or talk.

***College football season’s about to start.  Be great to see those college coaches and their security forces again.  Heard that some SEC schools are bringing in Ukrainian militia to serve as the security force.  Gotta keep those cheerleaders away from the head coach because they might try to kill him.

***Speaking of colleges, it seems that the big-time schools will soon be paying players to go to places like Tuscaloosa and Norman and Ann Arbor.

But who gets paid, and how much?  Does Title IX ensure that women’s field hockey players get paid the same as footballers?  Or men’s and women’s basketball players.  After all, at some schools, those attendances are equal, at some the women outdraw the men.  Can’t wait for those equality-based lawsuits.

**Love the cheating scandal at Notre Dame.  Hey, maybe these football players could steal a page from that guy with the dead girlfriend a few years ago.  Their dead girlfriends came to them in a dream and passed them test answers.  They could go on a women’s talk show and cry and cry, and cry.

No, no, never at the school of Our Lady.  Say it ain’t so, Knute.

I’m getting back in stride.  See ya next week…..

Soccer and Shakespeare

SHAKES: Saw “Love’s Labour’s Lost” performed by the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, which I again highly recommend to take in when you want to catch the Bard.

Young, enthusiastic troupe, doing a play that is not performed that frequently.  The production made imaginative use of crumpled-up 8×11 sheets of paper.  The performers were sharp, with perfect timing, played well off each other.

That’s three productions I’ve seen by this troupe, and they’ve all been entertaining.  In case you want to catch one, they’re doing “Henry V” in the fall, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in the spring.  Usually at the third-floor theater at the company’s headquarters on Sansom Street in Center City, but “Love’s Labour’s” was done at a similar-sized theater on Drexel’s campus.

And now some….

SOCCER: Look, Uruguay would have won the World Cup, as I predicted, if not for the Hungry Man.  Instead, the winner was Germany, which really had the strongest team in the field.

And I’m not going to look whether I wrote this before, but the USA was no better than it was in 2010.  Then, our buys were 1-1-2 in four games; this time, they were 1-2-1.  Not better.  I think a lot of people thought because of all those “watch parties” that something special was going on.

WRONG…

They had watch parties in Berlin, Buenos Aires, even right there in Rio.  No big deals.

Maybe the boys will be better in 2018, because by then coach Jurgen might have 23 Germans on his roster instead of just five.

And in England…

Season’s opened.  Premier League champ will be ……….CHELSEA

And about Leyton Orient, which you know is my only team.

Opened the season with a loss to Chesterfield (they were smoking,’ man), won a penalty shootout with Plymouth Argyle in a Capital One Cup game, then beat Oldham 3-1.  I was shocked to learn the team was sold in the “close season,” so let’s see how things go this season.

Time for …

…TEAM TALK

Haven’t done this in awhile:

PHILLIES: What can anyone say.  Team’s been overshadowed by a Little League team as the best baseball team in the city.  I guess the Little Leaguers have a better general manager.  Look, we can all agree that Ruben Amaro has wasted this team. No farm system, no future, no present, nothing.  This time Ruben’s right when he says about his minor leaguers that he doesn’t think someone is ready.  This is all on you Rube.  You’ve made the Hinky-man look almost-good.

UNION:  Nice job being done by Jim Curtin while he’s “interim” coach.  Playing for a Cup as they say in England, the U.S. Open Cup.  More, a lot more, on that when the showdown with Seattle approaches.

That’s it.  Back on the weekly schedule.