The Ugly Truth Only Gets Uglier From Here

Well that was quick.

Less than a week ago, the Miami Dolphins were the feel good movie of the year; scoring king-sized kudos from even the hardest grading critics in the industry. Their offense was bringing disco back while their defense had achieved a James Bond rating for its ability to get its ass kicked for two acts before winning the final fifteen minutes. Add to that, their coach was the natty professor who had a knack for stealing the aces at winning time.

And then it all went dark last Thursday night when quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was thrown to the turf by Josh Tupou, the hulking defensive tackle for the Bengals. It was the kind of sum of all fears moment that hushes up 65,000 fans right quick. As Tagovailoa lay crumpled on the ground with his arms seizing up and his fingers pointing to the sky in a frightening gnarl as the result of his brain having been reduced to a pin cushion, shock prevailed.

That shock quickly turned to anger as the sports world focused its crosshairs on the Miami Dolphins organization. Players prayed in between cursing emojis and executives lashed out under cover of anonymity and then Baltimore Ravens boss John Harbaugh broke the seal by claiming that he was “astonished” at the Dolphins handling of their franchise quarterback. He was referring to the fact that Tua had been knocked out of a game briefly against the Buffalo Bills only five days earlier.

They’re not wrong, but that doesn’t mean I’m willing to accept their angst ridden diatribes as the kind of gospel that is actually going to change a damn thing. Because it’s not. The Dolphins followed the same blueprint as most NFL teams who send their players into harm’s way when it seems fairly obvious to those of us who don’t wear shoulder pads for a living that maybe they should keep them out. We would love to believe that our favorite teams abide by the Dalai Lama rules of fair play and responsible practices, but that’s not how the league works. Even with all the concussion protocols in place, the league still favors pennies on the dollar solutions to brain injuries; from pop-up tents on the sidelines that administer quickie in game evaluations, to a roaming herd of independent contractors signing off on player wellness with pencils.

For their part, the Dolphins front office only fed the fire by having their coach address the media last Friday. Mike McDaniel was clearly doing his best to stay out of social media jail as he came off in his usual awkward manner; now less charming seeing as how the subject matter was a frightening brain injury that leaves Tua Tagovailoa’s career in question. But here’s the thing. McDaniel never should have been the point man in this sordid mess to begin with. That responsibility has to go to someone who writes the checks in the organization, either literally or figuratively. Preferably, both.

When Mike McDaniel tells us he had every confidence that his guy was good to go on Thursday night, I believe he’s telling the truth. Any plus or minus I give to how much is actually true comes down to a couple of things: What Tua told him and how he looked, and the assurances of medical professionals. On both counts, I truly believe the coach would not have put the kid out there if he had any serious doubts. And if John Harbaugh wants to take time away from his Father Flanagan act, I would tell him the same thing.

As for all the sports talking heads and union poohbahs who are busy top hatting the Dolphins into a corner, here’s an illuminating observation to munch on. Heading into last Thursday night’s game, not a single one of these concerned individuals issued a peep of concern for Tua’s well being. So, I gotta ask. Is it a matter of doth protesting too much because they’re a part of the solution, or because they realize they’re a part of a much larger problem?

I know which one I’m going with.

 

Perfectly Frank: October ’22

Photo by Lucas Pezeta on Pexels.com

With one month ending and another starting, Imma asked to take a break from Beach Walk Reflections and pitch in for some random thoughts. Thanks to Marc for the space.

September 2022 delivered fire, floods, earthquakes, the Mar-a-Lago documents legal saga, Blue Origin’s rocket failure, a huge tribute concert, Ukraine-Russia, the UK getting a new monarch and PM, 74th Emmy Awards, transporting immigrants, re-introducing cheetahs into India, a 700th homerun, a 61st homerun, more fake news, and politicians saying stupid shit.

September deaths included musicians, sports figures, a pioneer journalist, and people dying from gun violence, natural disasters, and war.

The world mourned and saluted Queen Elizabeth. A toast to a lady of honor, duty, dignity, respect, peace, class, and more. The funeral was riveting for me.

Tennis is moving one without two of its greats. First Serena Williams, now Roger Federer. Serena won 39 Grand Slam titles, while Federer only won 20. Interestingly, the Big 3 (Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic) won 63 of the last 77 Grand Slam titles. Now that’s dominance!

I started September at the Italian Consulate to begin my dual citizenship process. I drove 4 hours for an appointment I made 2 years ago to be told the person left early for a personal emergency. Oh well, at least they have my papers. Because I was not asked any questions nor had the chance to ask anything, I have no clue what’s next.

In September I learned my state (Ohio) is 4th (out of 50) in the number of reported Bigfoot sightings. I’m so proud.

In case you missed it, here are a few September headline gems from The Onion:

  • Historic preservationists place Eiffel Tower inside jar of formaldehyde
  • Bug crawling on ceiling must be possessed by a demon
  • Pregnancy test probably only lying for attention
  • Referees call for instant replay to admire great call
  • Flamethrower set to mist

A blast from the past. Try the Combo Challenge. By using only the words in the above headlines, create your headline, then share it in your comment. My combo appears later in this post.

In September we watched the opening episode of Our Great National Parks on Netflix. The stunning images and videography will get your attention while “Our” in the title is very fitting. Plus, the narrator won an Emmy for Outstanding Narrator.

For some strange reason, this just came to me. Did you know liver cells are 6-sided?

I missed ushering in September because my wife and I traveled in August. This 2-minute video summarizes our wonderful trip, and the song has great lyrics!

Because today starts a new month, it’s time for an overview of some of the celebrations on October’s plate. For a complete list of October celebrations, click here.

Monthly celebrations for October include apples, bats, black cats, caramel, class reunions, corn, feral hogs, Italian-American heritage, pizza, popcorn, right-brainers, squirrels, and toilet tank repair.

October is also a month to increase your awareness about blindness, breast cancer, bullying prevention, Celiac Disease, domestic violence, Down Syndrome, Dyslexia, global diversity, sarcasm, and the liver.

Weekly toasts include No Salt Week (3rd-10th), School Lunches (9th-14th), Meditation & Chemistry (15th-21st), Asexuality (25th-31st), and Magic (25th-31st)

Day celebrations include Tacos & Vodka (4th), Pierogies & Octopus (8th), Kick Butt (9th), Pasta (15th & 25th), Howl at the Moon (26th), Champagne (27th), Chocolate (28th), Candy Corn (30th), Halloween (31st), and many more. See for yourself.

My Combo: Historic preservationists admire lying demon bug inside pregnancy test

Have a good October everyone. I’m out of here, so enjoy a bit of Buddy Guy. Happy Pickle Day!

The Rundown

Aaron Judge hits 61st home run; ties Roger Maris for AL season record

It’s a busy time in this neighborhood as September gives way to the”Damn that feels good!” weather of October. This episode of your mostly weekly Rundown is arriving hot on the heels of the lovely Dale’s wonderfully wordless (almost) Wednesday whilst preceding The Cincinnati Kid’s Ode to October, which is coming up on Saturday. I feel like the peach pie filling of a very tasty treat, and I want to thank my partners in crime for making me look more popular than I am.

Let’s get this party started . . . .

Finally!

I sent out a half dozen texts on Wednesday night using a single word, because it was all that needed to be said. Every single one of my recipients understood what it meant. Seven homerless games gave way to history with one swing of the bat. And now Aaron Judge resides in baseball folklore until the lights go out. He also grabbed a seat at the table of one of the most iconic franchises in sports, right there with the Babe and the Mick, Maris and Gehrig, Reggie and Jeter.

And the best part of all this is the class Aaron Judge brought to the chase. He never once got prickly with the growing media contingent as he closed in on Maris. He handled himself with grace and even gave a tip of the hat to Barry Bonds when he claimed that Bonds remains the single season king. After going yard, he met with Roger Maris’s son deep inside the labyrinth of the Rogers Centre and they shared a private conversation. And while I have no idea what they talked about, I’ve got a feeling Roger’s name came up. The one thing I do know?

He would be proud.

The ways Hurricane Ian is an unprecedented storm for Florida's Gulf Coast | CNN

Nature has been merciless this fall.

Hurricane Ian is following the same catastrophic blueprint as its sister Fiona and reminding us once again that sunny skies are temporary havens we best soak up with humility and gratitude. Because they don’t stick around in perpetuity unless you’re on a movie set, and now Florida is learning this lesson once again as those skies have turned sinister.

The storm, which developed in the Caribbean last week, has displaced millions of Floridians while causing even more damage than its predecessor. The ‘unprecedented’ storm is believed to be the worst seen by the Florida coastline in a century. It reminds me of something the renowned astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson once observed about natural disasters: No matter how much bigger and smarter our technology gets, we will always be at the mercy of nature.

Prince Harry, Meghan's harsh comments and bombshell claims about the royal family: Do they have royal regrets? | Fox News

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have had their royalty rating downgraded after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. The couple was once ranked near the top of the Palace list, right below Kate and William, but then they journeyed out on their own. As a result, they find themselves at the very bottom of the list now, just ahead of disgraced Prince Andrew, who is basically the New York Jets of Buckingham Palace. Talk about getting the royal screw! I’m pretty sure even Taylor Swift ranks ahead of them.

White House: Late congresswoman 'top of mind' in Biden flub

No, he di-iiii-nt!

President Biden sought out lawmaker Jackie Walorski during a speech at a hunger, nutrition and health conference on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the Indiana congresswoman was not in attendance, seeing as how she died in a car accident last month. I mean, everyone is entitled to a mulligan. But when you start collecting the fuckers, that’s no bueno. And pipe down Trumpers, because this guy beat your guy. 

Trump offers to 'head up' group to negotiate peace between Russia and Ukraine | South China Morning Post

Ooookay, since I’m already here . . . Trump has announced that he wants to negotiate the peace between Russia and the Ukraine, and it’s not an article out of The Onion. He really does want to be Jimmy Carter. But having Trump negotiate a peace accord is like having the Joker organize the Gotham City Thanksgiving Day parade.

Coolio died this week at the age of 59, and so it’s my civic duty to post his iconic video, which just so happened to have been released in the year my son was born, so yanno . . great things and all that. Anyways, Artis Leon Ivey Jr. achieved the damn near impossible with this tune; he made ordinary white dudes feel like badass gangsters for four-minutes at a clip.

Rest in Peace good man.

Imma cap this week’s episode with a September 11th story gifted me by the lovely Dale. It felt divinely sent as we turn the page on another September. And it speaks to how I am always remembering back to the time, through books and songs and anecdotes and street corners and teddy bears and handwritten letters and blue skies and any other thing that makes my soul wander back.

Paul Murdoch is the architect of the “Tower of Voices” monument in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It’s a 93 foot structure that honors Flight 93- the plane that never made it to its destination. It houses 40 wind chimes- one for each soul taken from the world on that horrible morning. Murdoch talked about how he would like everyone who visits the memorial to just “feel”. Anything, and everything. The way those of us who lived inside that time did.

The video is a few years old but the sentiment is not tethered to a calendar. It’s for the here and now, joining that yesterday with today and all of our tomorrows. To feel . . to just feel. It means that we’re allowing our hearts and minds to do the one thing that matters most of all.

It means we never forget.

 

Speaking Of . . .

On this date in Yankees history: Roger Maris earns 1961 AL MVP | Bronx Pinstripes | BronxPinstripes.com

Since Aaron Judge is taking his sweet time in his quest to become the Bronx Boss of Bash, it threw off my weekend Rundown plan. Which is plenty fine since I haven’t penned one of these speakeasies in a lukewarm minute. So even when the big fella doesn’t get it done? He still gets it done!

Speaking Of . . . getting it done, the aforementioned Judge crushed it this year, and I’m not even talking about the diamond business in this instance. Nah, what 99 did for Derek Rodriguez ain’t gonna show up in any box score, and that’s because it’s much more important than any baseball game.

Rodriguez was the nine-year old Yankees fan who missed out on a Judge homer the last time the Yankees were in Toronto. Until he didn’t, thanks to Blue Jays fan Mike Lanzillotta, who caught the ball and then handed it to the kid. After which both of them got to meet Judge. How can you not love that?

You could say Judge had 99 reasons and a pitch wasn’t one.

Adam Levine & Tom Brady: Lakers Bros! | Adam Levine, Tom Brady | Just Jared

Speaking Of . . . pitches, I have one for any of the eleven million streaming services out there who love petty faces. I’m pairing up the newly separated Tom Brady and the newly found out (as if we didn’t know) creep Adam Levine in a NYC brownstone for bastard bachelors. The show will have a twenty-eight minute running time, twenty-four minutes of which will be filled with preening memes. The other four minutes will possess vacuous verbiage that will no doubt set civilization back at least a hundred minutes. The working title is Unlikeable You

Nancy Pelosi booed during surprise appearance at NYC music festival, videos appear to show | Fox Business

Speaking Of . . . Unlikeable, Nancy Pelosi made a surprise appearance at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park over the weekend. A lot less surprising was her getting booed off the stage. My daughter was in attendance and she called it the most interesting part of a lackluster event.

I'm not convinced we've wasted enough time on this | Work humor, Workplace humor, Work memes

Speaking Of . . . Lackluster events, the Super Bowl halftime show was supposed to feature Taylor Swift. And I for one wasn’t about to bother with that mess. Welp, those plans fell through and now Rihanna will star in the two-hour motion picture. And okay, I’m still not gonna bother, but I’m glad it’s not Taylor Swift just the same.

FDA Warns Against Making Viral NyQuil Chicken Recipe

Speaking Of . . . bad medicine, the FDA issued a warning recently against basting your chicken in Nyquil. This was in response to a five year old stunt found on the internets in which some kids were achieving maximum dosages in their hot meals. And I swear to Jesus, if Albert Einstein and Darwin were still kicking, Al would be getting busy on a bomb that would end this madness and Charlie would be rooting him on.

Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel's leadership style, Dolphins beat Bills - Sports Illustrated

Speaking Of . . . rooting, you didn’t think I was going to go through an entire post without mentioning the first place and(!) undefeated Miami Dolphins, did you? They overcame a literal ass kicking punt and total domination by Buffalo on the stat sheet and they paid the Bills! Now they’re sitting in the football penthouse as they mark a Super Bowl date with the Philadelphia Eagles. And the only thing that could stop this from happening would be an asteroid crashing into earth.

What time will NASA's DART spacecraft hit an asteroid on Sept. 26? | Space

Speaking Of . . . asteroids crashing into earth, NASA conducted a test last night by actually t-boning one of these fuckers. NASA crashed its DART spacecraft (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) into a hurtling hunk of space burning love called Dimorphos at speeds in excess of 14,000 mph. Which sounds like your average Tuesday on a Florida highway.

NASA insists their Hollywood stunt was simply a test and I believe them, because I always believe what government agencies tell me. And hey, I know it sounds ridiculous to believe that the Eagles and Dolphins meeting for all the chips on the table might portend such a cataclysmic event. And I don’t actually believe it  . . . because that’s just . . . silly.

Right?

From the Archives: Top 5 Heroes Of The Week

Imma dish up a brand spanking new Rundown this weekend, but I thought it would be kitschy fun to dig into the old treasure chest today. I found one of the very first of the Heroes/Rundown series. I hope you enjoy this blast from the past.

Remember the old Rolling Stone double issues that used to take a week to read? And longer than that if it was summer and you were perpetually high? Welp, that’s this week’s Heroes installment. You’ll notice I’ve tucked some news squibs in between the Big Five. It’s just me, tinkering.

Now let’s get on with it.

Romaine-tic Comedy- Country music singer Miranda Lambert (Should I stop there? Is that enough of a punchline? No . . you sure? Okay, I’ll continue . . ) is bringing a whole new meaning to her salad days. And believe me, I ain’t dressing this up.

Lambert made headlines (again) for all the wrong reasons (again) when she dumped her salad on a woman who was provoking her. The lap dance tantrum happened at a Nashville steakhouse where Lambert was dining with friends and family. And it just makes me sad.

Once upon a time, country music’s preferred method of payment when it came to altercations were baseball bats and whiskey bottles. Now . . it’s lettuce and cherry tomatoes with julienne carrots in a balsamic vinaigrette (speculative editorializing). The legends of country music didn’t even know what the fuck a salad was! The current generation of stars has weaponized it.

Ted Cruz wants to use El Chapo fortune to fund border wall. Because our government has never, ever used blood money before . . .

Ice Cold Stove- Two of the biggest stars in the game- Bryce Harper and Manny Machado- remain unsigned. Pitchers and catchers time has arrived, and these two big ticket items of the hot stove league remain on the shelf. Which says everything about the blah quality of the league. Call it collusion by the owners or call it a deluded MLBPA but the bottom line is the game is suffering from an alarming lack of sizzle lately.

Cancel out collusion, because offers have been made and stupid contracts (See the Nationals signing of Corbin) have been inked. As for the player’s union, they’ve got to pipe down on any claims of owner conspiracy, what with the average MLB salary sitting at a cool 4 mil a year. They need to get their shit straight for sure but worrying about their players getting paid would be the wrong pony to ride. Listen, owners see players like JD Martinez of the Red Sox kicking ass at a fraction of what Harper/Machado were asking for. They want bang over bloat, and I don’t blame them.

But the MLB has got to do something about this hot stove of theirs, which has gotten its ass kicked by the NFL and NBA trading deadlines and signing periods over the last calendar season. Baseball used to own its off-season but that is no longer the case. Where have you gone Reggie Jackson? . . .

Grammys

The Grammys- Who. Fucking. Cares.

I ain’t got much to say about an awards show I haven’t watched in forever, but what I do have to say isn’t pleasant. And yet . . it’s a hell of a lot more pleasant than what these peeps are dealing. Reading up on the postscripts to the show is akin to checking up on the first grade choir. It’s a bunch of musical talent wrapped in elementary school clothes. They snipe, they curse and they hate on each other with Styrofoam vitriol; which means to say, it’s marshmallow four lettered banter delivered up by musical brats who couldn’t hold Prince’s luggage.

And this isn’t some old dude pissing on the music of the day, because there’s plenty of new stuff I dig on. And I also happen to believe we should leave Cardi B alone when it comes to that Tom Petty gaffe. Truth be told, there are times when I have to think about which Beatles are left . . and I am guilty of not knowing whether Steven Tyler was dead or alive (He’s alive). Nah, Cardi B is a kid who ain’t down with yesterday’s music, and that’s no crime. But the way her peers trashed her after she won for best rap album is just sad. And proof that I ain’t missing anything by skipping this show.

Kylie Jenner is into condom artTo paraphrase the great Andy Warhol, in the future everyone will be famous for three and a half minutes . . . 

Sarah Sanders Stars in ‘God Squad’-White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says that God wanted Donald Trump to win in 2016. And a quarter of Fox News poll respondents agree with her. In another Heroes first, I’ve linked to a Fox News poll for shits and giggles. If you insist on sending me hate mail, please forward it here. Rather than doing a post-oped, Imma dish up a semi-fictional rendering of how this might have gone down.

Somewhere in Malibu . . . 

The phone rings. 

“Challo?”

“God, hey . . it’s Lucifer,”

“Hey Lu . . what’s going down?” God chuckles.

“You remember anything about last night?” Lucifer asks.

“Well . . I remember we were playing poker. Moses was bragging about his Red Sea vacation . . Noah was telling fish tales . . and then Lot brought the Patron and we all started doing shots and . . .”

“You went all in when I said you had to elect Trump if you lost your pot,” Lucifer informs him.

“Prove it,” God demands.

His phone chimes to life with a text message containing a video link of him losing the bet with his arch-nemesis.

“Jesus!”

“Yeah Pop?” Jesus says as he moves into the living room to grab his sandals.

“No, not you. Umm, where you going?” God asks.

“Me and Jerry Garcia are gonna work on the van,” Jesus says excitedly.

“What about that job interview you have at Lowes?” God asks.

“That’s manana, and don’t worry . . I’ll pass the drug test this time. Gotta go old man, peace out . ..”

“Lu . . you still there?”

“That kid can’t hold down a job to save his life,” Lucifer says.

“Preaching to the choir, Lu. But hey . . you can’t hold me to this Trump thing,” God says.

“You bet your cloud surfing ass I’m gonna hold you to it,”

“I gotta say, this is low . . even for you,”

“Tuesday, November 8th, Boss. Mark the date,” Lucifer says before hanging up.

If you insist on sending me hate mail for this sacrilegious skit, please forward it here.

Bob Ross Flash Mob- Seriously, that sentence is enough to put a smile on my face. But it gets better. Thanks to middle school art teacher Brady Sloane of Abilene, Texas . . it gets a lot better. Textbook smarts get you in the door, but outside the box thinking opens the doors you never knew existed. And Sloane, supplied. She noticed how her students were stressing over their work load in advanced placement classes and so she organized a cool little activity in which they would all don Bob Ross costumes as they painted.

Sloane used monies from a fundraiser to buy the paints and then her students helped her make the costumes. And this story is just so damned peach on top of my Heroes cake, that Imma stamp it in place of my usual musical spill.

Zen is what real winning looks like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Gates slams AOC’s 70 percent tax plan? No. Shit. 

Do You Believe In Miracles?! Well, Not Really . . But Humor Me

Dolphins vs. Ravens: Twitter reactions from Miami's Week 2 win

Sometimes, it’s better not to ask questions.

I asked myself if maybe it was time to put my annual “State of the Dolphins” post on ice, so as to spare myself the disappointment of yet another campaign full of empty promises. But why should I deny my loyal readers the chance to join me for the undertow party? So I said to myself . . . Self? Just write the damn thing. 

It was deep into the third quarter of the Dolphins game in Baltimore on Sunday when I realized just how much I suck as a sports fan. My beloved Fins were getting clobbered 35-14 and the Ravens were killing more grass than an unemployed pothead. Two games in and I was throwing in the towel; the one Rocky should have thrown in Rocky III. Down by three touchdowns, it was time to call in FEMA and start making excuses for next week’s loss . . I mean game (I mean loss) against the Bills. And then the thought ran through my head . . .

Waddle is tearing it up! 

Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle is so good, it doesn’t seem possible that he’s ours. He wasn’t our first choice, which makes the fact he’s ours that much sweeter. Anyways, that’s not why I was so excited about the game Waddle was having in Baltimore. Nope. I was pumped because he’s on my fantasy league team. I knew it wasn’t right to feel so good about a loss, but hey! It’s the kid’s fault!

That groan you just heard is Vince Lombardi crapping in his dead pants.

Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins: How to fix your NFL quarterback.

Heading to the fourth quarter, Miami found itself trailing by twenty-one points with Tua Tagovailoa at the helm. Now don’t get me wrong, this Tua fellow is an outstanding individual by all accounts. But here’s the thing. I don’t want my quarterback to be an exemplary individual with scruples for miles. I want my quarterback to be an asshole. Which is why I was coo when we tried to bandito Tom Brady. You put that dude in a phone booth at winning time and go pend your patent.

Heading into Year Three of Tua, the Dolphins have been just fine. Sort of the way a Buick or a hand-knit sweater vest or Nilla Wafers are just fine. It doesn’t help when Justin Herbert- the guy we passed on in the draft- is the best QB not named Mahomes or Kelly . . . even with fractured ribs. Miami’s Coulda Closet of QB’s includes everyone from Herbert to Brady to Watson. Even Baker Fucking Mayfield snuck into our rumor pile for a minute, and he’s more Mickey Spillane character than franchise quarterback.

As for the game, it was the fates complying as Miami ran their dime store offense down the field for a less than giddy yup to make it Baltimore 35 Miami 21 with enough time left for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens to hang a Fifty Burger on the board. I was okay with my team having thrown a punch, I was more okay with Waddle leading my make believe team to the promised land.

And then . . . Baltimore 35 Miami 28.

A career best four touchdown passes for Tua and now my (real) team was counter punching the hell out of a lost afternoon. And then they had the ball back yet again, and im had decided to amscray from the possible. But no . . . of course not . . because there was plenty of time left for us to fuck it up in some Hitchcockian horror story . . . hold on . . what?

Baltimore 35 Miami 35.

When Justin Tucker hit a bomb to give the Ravens a three point lead, I breathed a sigh of relief because I hadn’t actually lost consciousness after all. But I wasn’t expecting what came next to, yanno . . come next. In fact, if I had to make a top five list of shit that I thought was going to happen in Baltimore on Sunday afternoon, it would have gone like this.

1) Giselle purchases the Dolphins and announces that Tom Brady will never get to visit.
2) Lamar Jackson scores on a 101 yard run. Which isn’t even possible.
3) Miami HC Mike McDaniel is arrested for stealing actor Jamie Kennedy’s identity.
4) Jimmy Hoffa’s remains are found in the end zone. By Geraldo.
5) Anything other than . . . .

Miami 42 Baltimore 35 . . with Waddle cradling the go ahead score for my real team and my make believe team.

Both!

From the ashes to the top of the heap in fifteen minutes and somewhere, Warhol was smiling. When it went final, I was left to wonder how they’re going to break my heart before the dealing’s done. Maybe the wake up call is next week when they take on a Bills team that is playing as if they stole Superman’s identity.

And I don’t care, because I will be Sebastian to their Mia(mi) if they’re going to be this damned interesting.

Mike McDaniel's path to Dolphins started with a lost hat

The new football boss Mike McDaniel wasn’t our first choice either. And the Boy Genius circa Yale University and the NFC Champion 49ers would say fuck it if you asked him how much that matters right now. No, seriously. That was the play he called with the Dolphins down seven late in the game. The “Fuck It” play was actually in the playbook, and it called for all offensive personnel to line up on one side so’s Tyreek Hill could win his matchup on the other.

Who knows? Maybe Miami hot-wired a road trip from Miami proper to January. Because none of these dudes was at the top of our wish list and yet, they dollar billed a penny opera ending into the kind of comeback dub that just might have playoff games calling on the back nine.

Jesus, this feels like a heist film penned by Zack Syder: Tua as the afterthought point man and Waddle as the chip on his shoulder weapons expert. McDaniel is the wanna be white rapper whose side hustle as a safecracker allows him the chance to strike it rich. And they’ll have to go through the mafia in Buffalo, the syndicate in Kansas City and maybe even that hot shot gunslinger on the left coast if they want to get to the desert. You can’t tell me Hollywood wouldn’t dig that script.

I’m liking it my damn self.

The Rundown

Anthony Varvaro, former MLB pitcher killed en route to work 9/11 post, was a hero to Staten Island - silive.com

Another week, another holler.

This week has me attempting to fuse some ELO blue sky to the Monk’s midnight indigo, which is what happens every time my brain returns from its Hoboken getaway. All the same, Imma be righteous in my rundown of the things that scratched my lottery winning itch, in an extra credit kind of way. Think amble with a James Brown chaser and you’re onto something.

The above capture is my Heroes of the Week! hat tip to a young man who was taken from us much too soon. Anthony Varvaro lived the kind of life Pete Hamill used to write into classic love letters about the human condition. The thirty-seven year old worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; this after having lived a major league dream across three cities and six seasons. He was a relief pitcher for the Mariners, Braves and Red Sox in his other life, a champion in the one that followed.

His arm carried him from St. John’s University to the Show, after which he cashed in his chips to make the kind of difference our better angels get fat on. Varvaro was killed in a car crash on his way to work at the September 11th memorial ceremony in Manhattan. As if the day hasn’t taken enough, it took one more.

His was a short lived gift to those of us who want the good stories to matter more than all the rest. Because while his book went short, his chapters prevailed upon us with passages that stick. We will remember how he devoted his life to the service of others. And how his dreams were of a better world for this generation and all the ones to follow. His method involved that most time tested blueprint for big dreams: One that requires rolled up sleeves, a humble heart and a soul with a full tank. And I like to imagine Varvaro is stretching his legs in the Milky Way right about now.

We were simply borrowing him.

Marco’s “Best Quote of the Week!” belongs to journeyman QB Geno Smith. The guy has called more places home than a long haul trucker. But he’s still one of only 1,696 men to earn an NFL paycheck, so he’s doing plenty right. And his quote after leading the Seattle Seahawks to a W on Monday Night Football is the kind of genius Oscar Wilde used to marry on the regular. I might have to put Geno on my fantasy league team for literary sake alone.

Aaron Judge belts 56th, 57th homers as Yankees beat Red Sox

I had to Judge it for a third week in a row here at the Rundown, seeing as how Kyrie Irving scored two straight buckets worth of episodes back when we were doing our bi-ness as Heroes . As interesting as I find that knucklehead, I’m in the market for a new King. There’s a dude who is currently working at 161st Street in the Bronx who fits this bill, to the tune of 57 Big Macs with plenty of menu left to be read. 61 ties Aaron Judge with Yankees legend Roger Maris while 62 paves a new parking space in Yankees- and MLB- lore. This is page turning stuff, especially considering he’s also hot on the heels of a Triple Crown season. So now the question becomes, can Judge make it four straight appearances next week on the Rundown?

Stay tuned . . . .

House of the Dragon: Aegon's Catspaw Dagger Is Even More Important Than We Thought - IGN

I wasn’t gonna do it until I did it. No, no, no . . I’m not talking about some primo OG Kush. In this instance, I’m talking about the newest Game of Thrones remedy now streaming on HBO. The storyline in House of the Dragon is a couple hundred years in the rear view of the seven kingdoms of GOT, and it follows the Targaryen dynasty into all manner of debauchery and dragons. The cast is Valyrian steel and the story turns my page just fine, because it ain’t surfing on the coattails of the show that made it go.

It’s how you prequel.

Where to watch the late Queen's funeral in London: best viewing points and public screens

Queen Elizabeth’s passing last week at the age of ninety-six at Balmoral Castle in the UK marked the end of an era. And what an era it was. Her seventy years on the throne marks the longest reign of any British monarch ever and the only one most of us have ever known. She was Queen for 15 British Prime Ministers, which means she met with the sublime of Winston Churchill to the ridiculous of Boris Johnson. She wasn’t a policy maker, but she was in the loop on all things England.

A thirty-eight minute cortege on Wednesday saw the Queen’s coffin travel from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall. The unease of that crown, even in an age where the weight is mostly symbolic in nature, now passes to the son, King Charles III.

Uvalde High School Teams Wins First Football Game Since Shooting

The Uvalde High School football team is 2-0 after winning its home opener 34-28 in a come from behind thriller last weekend. For this small Texas town with a population of 16,000, good outcomes are hard earned these days.

Uvalde was the scene of an unimaginable horror on May 24 when twenty-one people- nineteen students and two teachers- were gunned down at Robb Elementary School. The students lost in the rampage ranged in age from 9 to 11 years old. And just writing that sentence makes my hands shake.

The Coyotes winning a couple of football games inside the first breaths of autumn doesn’t change what came before. But for a night, it was something good happening inside an age where madness wins too far too often. It was a coming together for all the right reasons. It was kids being able to be, well . . kids. It was smiles and cheers and hugs and it was knowing. Knowing how important it is for the living to tell the stories of those twenty-one souls whose tomorrows never came. And maybe it’s more important than we know, to tell those stories until our lights no longer shine.

I have to wonder if maybe, just maybe, there was something happening from somewhere else to here when the Uvalde high school team won its first game of the season at the end of August by a score of twenty-one to thirteen. You can chalk those twenty-one points up to coincidence if you like.

I never will.