The Rundown

At least 50 likely dead in Kentucky alone after tornadoes hit central and southern US, governor says

Tornadoes swept through six states last week, leaving behind a trail of devastation from Mississippi to Illinois which resulted in seventy casualties. There were thirty separate tornadoes, in December.

Entire communities were wiped away in moments when a polar air stream crashed into unseasonably warm temperatures across the region, triggering a series of vicious twisters that left thousands without homes and had local and state agencies scrambling to provide relief before FEMA could arrive.

“The level of devastation is unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” Said Kentucky governor Andy Beshear.

Derek Chauvin pleads guilty in federal court to violating George Floyd's civil rights | Connecticut News | wfsb.com

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin changed his not guilty plea this week, admitting that he had in fact violated George Floyd’s civil rights. Yanno . . by placing his knee on Floyd’s neck until he lost consciousness. Before you go sending Chauvin a Christmas card, understand that he might have done so in order to spare himself another trial in which a life sentence was possible. As it is, he’ll probably be out in fifteen years with good behavior.

Leave it to Cincy to bring some goodness to the roster this week, with the story of a Secret Santa whose sleigh touched down in a place light years away from the North Pole. But you never would have been able to tell the difference, what with all the Christmas spirit that was going on. This three minute video redefines what wealth truly means. What a story.

Urban Meyer fired by Jacksonville Jaguars 13 games into disastrous stint | Jacksonville Jaguars | The Guardian

Yesterday morning, it occurred to fans and sports analysts alike that yanno . . . this Urban Meyer may have been a bad guy all along. But rest assured, it took 2-11 to come to that conclusion.

I saw him for the bad guy he was years ago (right here!). And that was before he hired a racist punk strength and conditioning coach named Chris Doyle . . it was before he brought in Tim Tebow, a failed NFL quarterback, to play tight end for five minutes so Urban could play his Jesus card and show everyone what a loyal guy he was . . . it was before he let his team fly home after a game in Ohio so he could go to his bar and play grab ass with a woman who was not his wife . . it was before he called a coach’s meeting where he let his guys know he was a winner and they were all losers . . . it was before he kicked his place-kicker in the leg, justifying it with “I’m the ball coach, I’ll kick you whenever the fuck I want!”. The fact Josh Lambo told team officials about this in August and it only saw the light of day this week is another story for another time.

Truth is, it took 2-11 before Urban Meyer became the bad guy he’s always been. Those thirty-one arrests of Florida “student athletes” when Urban was head coach weren’t enough to convince people. In fact, Meyer’s long and sordid history of aiding and abetting known criminals while at Florida and later at Ohio State wasn’t enough to convince all these fans and sports talking heads that Meyer was a bad guy. Because winning was his brand before he shit the bed in the NFL, and that fact mattered more than the safety and well being of the female population on two college campuses. And if we were to flip the script to where Jacksonville was 11-2 this morning . . .

We wouldn’t be having this conversation.

The lovely Monika is making the most of her turn in this week’s line-up with the story of a simple walk in the woods that helped re-unite a WW2 veteran with several personal items he lost in Eastern Europe. Which is truly remarkable on the face of it but so much more so when you consider that he lost these items, are you sitting down? 76 years ago.

A Czech reporter found them while using a metal detector in the woods around Prague. Realizing the importance of the lost possessions, he took to social media, posting images and asking for help in the search for the owner. He got it when a Grand Junction Colorado resident was able to track the items to Joe Esquibel, a US Army veteran.

Just when you think the world is flat, you find the flavor.

Danny Stewart, Kevin and Pete Mercurio in 2019.

Twenty-one years ago, a family history was busy being written into existence in a New York subway station. That’s where Danny Stewart found a baby boy wrapped in a sweatshirt, after which he called his partner, Pete Mercurio to let him know he was going to be late for dinner.

From there, it was as if God was writing the script. After handing the baby over to the state, a city-wide search for the parents was conducted with no luck. The two men had already decided they wanted to be a part of the kid’s life for the long haul, no matter what. They had no idea how prescient their mindset would prove to be.

In December of 2000, the couple became foster parents to Daniel Ace Doe and two years later, they became a family. Officially.

As far as parents go, you’re talking blue-ribbon best with these two men. They shared everything they knew with their little guy, and when he asked about the judge who had fast-tracked the adoption process, they arranged a meeting. In 2020, Pete wrote a book about how it all began titled “Our Subway Baby“. Kevin is now 21 and a senior at Swarthmore College. He also happens to be living proof as to what good parenting is all about.

Love.

“We’ve always told Kevin from a very young age that he was left out of love, so that he could be found and cared for. We never used the word abandonment or abandoned. We said she left you where you could be found by us.”

I look at the above image and I can’t help thinking that God was cradling the three of them in his infinite grace whilst hushing the screaming mess of a world that ain’t always the most compassionate of places. On top of that rock is where heaven got to have the last word, by letting the world see what matters most of all.

And always will.

35 thoughts on “The Rundown

  1. So now I wonder … where will Meyer land next? On to the good stuff. The three stories are wonderful examples of the goodness in humanity … and stories like that can go on and on because they are endless. Although stories like these happen 24-7-365 and then rinse to repeat, this is the season that amplifies these stories. The Kentucky tornado was horrible – absolutely horrible – but it also provides more stories of goodness. Another great edition, sir! … and thanks for including mine

    PS: I just saw this one on the local morning news. It’s a local story of a lady in poverty. I happened to see the first part of the story earlier this week – but today’s story was the aftermath with kindness stepping forward. It worth the several minutes it takes to watch it. https://tinyurl.com/ycx6jbtu

    Liked by 2 people

  2. B,

    Thirty tornadoes in December – and there is still half of the month left!… I can’t even fathom and yet we see the proof. Scary business.

    I am positive the only reason the guy changed his plea was to spare himself another trial.

    Too bad the video is unavailable to us Canadians (good thing I have a VPN and was able to see it anyway). I tried to find a video for all but alas, it does not exist. What a generous and kind soul is this Secret Santa, helping out at the rez. Beautiful story.

    Pfft. You called it years ago. I remember that eloquently written post. And how sad that the ONLY reason he is “suddenly” a bad guy is because of his 2-11. I hope to hell no other school decides to give him a chance… Mind you, they seem to be blind when it comes to this.

    My goodness! 76 years later and Joe Esquibel is alive to receive his items! That is beyond fantastic.

    I have goosebumps on Kevin’s birth story – because that is what his fathers have given him. A story with a different beginning which has permitted him to be a part of this world with two loving parents, This is a true love story. Thank you for sharing this one.

    Wonderful Christmas tune to go with!

    Q

    Liked by 2 people

    • Q

      Like I said, it’s scary to think that we have all this warm weather going on. Which increases the chances of these storms happening.

      That is a really beautiful story and I’m glad you were able to snag it. It says everything about what is considered wealthy to someone like this guy.

      Urban Meyer was a bum before he got to the NFL, and nothing changed when he arrived. His tenure was historically awful, as he became only the fourth head coach not to make it through a season in the last fifty years. And to think, the putrid W/L record was only HALF of the story.

      That’s what I thought when I watched this video. And how great was it, that some guy on the other side of the world understood the import of the situation. It mattered to him.

      It really is goosebumps worthy. These two provided everything a parent should. Makes the ignorance of this world seem like such a waste of time, really.

      Love that tune! Gracias! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      B

      Liked by 1 person

      • It really is. As we have been seeing all over.

        It is such a beautiful story. I don’t think there is a reservation in North America where people don’t suffer.

        He was a bum, remains a bum (and we are being nice, here). It burns my ass that he will leave with a “severance package” way over his worth.

        Those old guys are a tough lot. I love when the Universe works as beautifully as it did on this occasion. That the guy found it, that he put it up on social media, that another person decided to search and then find the owner. And that the owner was still alive! Beauty.

        Such a beautiful family.

        It’s a beauty of a tune!

        Liked by 1 person

        • The threat of weather is not a fiction, it’s being played out more and more.

          Yeah, the idea that a nation was basically slaughtered, disassembled and sold for parts . . . that happened. When you watch this video, you can’t help but feel that hopelessness.

          Meyer will get his. Maybe not all of it, but more of it than he deserves, you’re right. Everything about his tenure was a complete failure. Everything.

          It all came together so perfectly. To know there was a human being on the other side of the world who understood, not simply understood, but respected the life and lives from all the way back there. That says everything you need to know about how closely knitted most humans are. No matter the miles, dialect or language. No matter the opinions or beliefs.

          It is. That picture was perfect.

          Classic, in the new old fashioned way.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I know that evil exists in this world, your stories prove that. But it is the goodness that overshadows it all as you have shown us with such beauty in the other stories. You are right: love is the answer.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent stories, Pilgrim. I can vouch for you calling Meyer a bum long before anyone else. It s nice to see him get his walking papers. (long overdue) Now let’s place bets on who will pick this slimebag up. Loved the other stories showing the best side of humans. Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That Secret Santa really put the tears in my eyes. Itโ€™s one thing to give people money, but to give them that kind of respect…

    Those tornadoes just are an awful tragedy. How horrible to lose your home like that this time of year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Such a beautiful thing to do. Money, you’re right, that would have been great and very much needed. But this transcended all of it. Talk about compassion.

      It’s very scary, which is why I am so unnerved by the warm weather here. Mid-forties this time of year is unseasonable enough. But when it goes mid-sixties . . . I no like.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dude Our Subway Baby what a great story. I donโ€™t even think I remember hearing about it. How great! This story right here is why I enjoy reading your posts, all the warm and fuzzies of the few-good vibes. Appreciate you posting:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Cali

      No, I don’t think I remember it either. Who knows though, it feels like a million years ago now . . the year 2000. We had no blessed idea what was ahead of us all.

      Yes, you could say I mellow my own harsh in these episodes. I’m unwilling to pretend there isn’t plenty of forgettable stuff happening. But it’s the good that always shines through.

      Sunshine and waves

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Meyer is what’s wrong with football, plain and simple. Where there are so many other selfless, decent people, this douchebag stains everything/everyone he’s around. Ugh. Thanks for sharing the Esquibel story. The odds of someone is the Czech Republic, finding him after 70+ years is just incredible to me. And can I say that the Subway Baby story really warmed my heart. Thanks for sharing such positive stories to dilute the Urban one. The sad part is there’s probably some team out there just licking its chops to get their hands on him. I’m thinking he and Dan Snyder make matching bookends. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Urban Meyer is who he’s always been. Problem is, he went to a league where the players don’t need to listen to his sophomoric lectures. He never got buy in, the game was much faster than he was used to, the X’s and O’s were much more advanced since it is about more than having the best recruiting class. And Urban wasn’t about to adapt, the way guys like Jimmy Johnson and Pete Carroll were able to. Because Urban is about Urban. Interesting that Ohio State had him teaching a course on character and leadership . . .

      Thank you for sharing that story with me because yeah, 76 years removed . . and it mattered to that reporter on the other side of the world. Which goes to prove we’re united, as people, a lot more than we know.

      PS- Maybe Urban and Danny Boy can go to the USFL.

      Liked by 1 person

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