The Rundown

Stories You Should Know: Bill Russell in Game 7's - The Grueling Truth

Hard to believe we’re two thirds of the way through 2022, but hey, it means we are that much further removed from 2020. And okay, the spectacle of what 2024 might bring gets closer still. But maybe, just maybe, 2023 will be the best year ever? Please? Someone? Hear my prayer?

This week I’m talking legends.

Bill Russell didn’t have the the luxury of comparing himself to icons like Jackie Robinson. He was too busy paving roads that future generations of players would use to their great benefit. And it’s a common theme you hear from the greats who followed Russell that his example became their talisman- from Magic to Bird, Kobe to Shaq to Durant.

The greatness of the Boston Celtics was born on the day Russell came to town. He toted two collegiate rings to Beantown, after which he went 11-0 in NBA finals appearances (!). Add an Olympic gold medal to that Rushmore resume and you ain’t even scratched the surface of the life Bill Russell led.

In spite of all this, Russell was never embraced in a town that judged the color of his skin over the immense content of his character. This sad reality inspired him to remain a steadfast voice in the fight for equal rights, and he remained a civil rights advocate for more than half a century. Because he didn’t need to be the next Jackie Robinson.

He was the first Bill Russell.

French's® Debuts Limited-Edition Mustard Donuts in Celebration of National Mustard Day

I have put a lot of things in my mouth that I later regretted (I said that out loud, didn’t I?) but even I think French’s new mustard donut is a bridge too far. Hey look at that, I do have standard(s)!

Why Eric Clapton is still God | British GQ

The former President of Seinfeldania is still keeping late night talk show hosts well fed all this time later. He endorsed “Eric” in the Missouri primary race . . . and never mind that he didn’t specify exactly which Eric he was talking about. Because when did the details ever matter to this guy?

I put together a multiple choice quiz in order to find the right Eric and it is every bit as dumb as the guy who inspired it.

A) Eric Heiden- A five-time gold medal winner who became an orthopedic surgeon? He’s got my vote!
B) Erik Estrada- Come to think of it, Trump made no mention of spelling.
C) Eric Stoltz- I feel legally obligated to include him in any discussions about Erics based on the classic “Shot of Adrenaline” scene in Pulp Fiction.
D) Okay yeah, I know it’s not Clapton but I’m going with Clapton anyways.

And now for my Five Good Things . . .

Drew Bausman took his day on the job with UPS VERY seriously.

7 year old Drew Bausman’s dream of being a UPS driver was realized more than a decade ahead of schedule when some really good peeps made it happen. He was inspired by all that delivery traffic in the year of COVID, so he got his own uniform and a hot ride.

tiger | Facts, Information, Pictures, & Habitat | Britannica

The International Union for Conservation of Nature announced there are more tigers roaming in the wild than previously thought. Globally, we’re talking anywhere between 3,700 to 5,500 Bengal tigers. Which means humankind still has lots of work to do, because one look at these majestic creatures makes my whole day.

Ava Swiss is a survivor of the Oxford High School shooting that took four lives in Michigan last fall. And she’s making the most of her every day since, appearing on America’s Got Talent recently. (School Shooting Survivor Auditions For America’s Got Talent). And if this doesn’t bring a tear (or many) to your eyes, make an appointment to see an ophthalmologist, pronto.

Massiah Brown of Sacramento, California is seven going on Aquaman. When he spotted a three-year old boy sinking to the bottom of a pool, he lifted him to safety and a tragedy was averted. Superhero powers and those shades? The kid’s got style!

England vs Germany: Lionesses win first Women's EURO title in extra-time

The Lionesses Euro football tournament win is England’s first (male or female) title since 1966. The girls victory inspired something called “Football Rebooted” where cleats are donated to disadvantaged youths who dream of playing the game they love. How cool is that?

Juan Soto debuts for San Diego Padres; the Washington Nationals actually traded Soto... - Federal Baseball

I’m not talking about Deshaun Watson this week because Vin Scully’s passing and the Juan Soto signing matter more to yours truly. And hey . . . it’s my parking space.

First Soto.

The San Diego Padres became the center of the baseball universe this week when they pulled off the baseball equivalent of a lunar landing by trading for Juan Soto. The kid’s trajectory is squarely fixed on greatness and he’s only twenty-three. He makes an already formidable Padres lineup into something that steals a pitcher’s sleep. I tuned in for his first at bat in his new duds on Wednesday night and Imma be back for more. Because I love the idea of a small market team pushing all their chips to the center of the table and calling the bluff of the baseball establishment. This doesn’t make the Padres a sure thing, seeing as how super-teams have a sketchy track record. But what I do know is that a once woebegone franchise has announced its arrival at the high stakes table. In a market the Chargers left because they didn’t consider it big league enough.

I am there for that.

Vin Scully, legendary Dodgers announcer for 67 years, dies at age 94 - True Blue LA

Sixty-seven years. Vin Scully mastered his craft over that length of time as the voice of Dodgers games, providing a masterclass in how to call a baseball game. From sea to shining sea- Brooklyn USA to Los Angeles California- Scully was a fixture on summer nights, painting the scene in his uniquely classic style. Twelve presidents, four wars, a moon landing and the internet age all happened on his watch. He endured in an industry that has grown exponentially from the days of transistor radios, lapping his more educated peers by his insistence on letting the game do most of the talking. He didn’t rely on gimmicks when the game was the only thing that mattered.

From Don Larsen’s World Series perfect game in 1956 to all of Sandy Koufax’s no-hitters to Hank Aaron’s record breaking 715th home run that passed the Babe to the Mets improbable comeback in ’86 and Kirk Gibson’s one legged miracle shot two years later . . . Scully is indelibly attached.

In his final sign off back in 2016, Scully was his typically humble self as he spoke with that signature eloquence and grace we came to know and love. He confessed that he had always needed us more than we needed him.

I respectfully disagree.



24 thoughts on “The Rundown

  1. Bill Russell was an all-time great both on and off the court. The mustard donut…no thank you. That 7 year old saving a 3 year old is awesome. The Padres definitely are all in to win now. They really needed to do something because for the first half of the season while they had solid pitching, they were doing the absolute bare minimum on offense to win games. For me, Vin Scully was the first announcer I came across who let the game and the crowd do the talking. He knew when a game needed a witty anecdote, and he knew when a game didn’t need any words from him at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He was the biggest winner, on and off the court.

      Nope, no mustard donuts. Ever.

      I hope they can make a World Series run while they have Soto, which is probably for the three years remaining on his contract.

      I remember Vin Scully calls because of how he let us experience the moment. No gimmicks, no signature call nonsense. Just the game, as if should be.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It was quite the week with the passings of Bill Russell and Vin Scully. Professional sports and the nation are a couple really good guys short. Sigh. And in the good news department, gosh, does it get better than knowing there are a few more tigers than thought and that there are kiddos like the young Mr. Massiah Brown to save the day for another little peep? Bravo to the English ladies for their win as well as their advocacy. Well done, Marc. Here’s to a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The good people keep on leaving the room and we can’t afford to lose the lessons they imparted when they were here.

      I am in love with those beautiful creatures. We need a full court press to stop poaching and hunting and razing their habitats. Leave them be.

      Massiah is going places!

      The ladies came through, on and off the pitch!

      Have a great weekend as well Monika

      Liked by 1 person

    • Two great men whose legacies will carry on.

      Could be Hosmer, even though he was traded to the Red Sox . . . and I hate giving those guys any credit. Hey, what about Eric Roberts?


  3. I was just reading a Hamill book where he calls Billy Holiday Lady Day. Made me take pause since, he said she was always in so much pain yet she sang as though her heart would break for good.

    My dad knew Bill Russell so that too made me sigh. I forget how but, considering he wasn’t thrilled with people of color as I recall, it is a bit perplexing. He was a man of his generation is how I let him off the hook, but he liked Bill who was a gentleman my mother used to say. Funny what one remembers when the file gets popped.

    Liked by 2 people

    • When you’re in pain, you find ways to express it. Its like steam. And so, hers was song and she sang the daylights into those dark places.

      My old man was (is) the same. I could never stand how proud he was of his ignorance so needless to say, I’m plenty fine with my decision to cut all ties.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It was how many men were at the time. My father was angry. Came back from the war to a woman who didn’t want him. He was a mess while she didn’t care. After I read all those Lynn Olson books about WWII, I realized why he drank himself to death never ever talking about what he must have seen. Pain in a glass. Hear the ice?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. B,

    Methinks you’re right. This is a good ‘un 🙂 Two-thirds! Oi. Where does the time go? I would SO MUCH like 2023 to be better (though, I can’t say that I’m complaining too much about 2022… there were a couple of really nice moments, and one to come).

    Did you know that Bill Russell and Henri The Pocket Rocket Richard (younger brother of The Rocket) are tied for the record of most championships won by an athlete in a North American sports league? How do you like them apples?
    It is rather disgusting that he, too, was never embraced by his team town. And these guys are not just about their sport, either.

    Ewww. No. I don’t even want to think of what that doughnut could taste like.

    Buahahaha! I love your choices of Eric(k)!

    Drew’s story is just too cute for words.

    Yeah for the tigers!

    Bravo to Ava Swiss (a great voice, she has) to not allow her experience to stop her from moving not only forward but upward and onward.

    Massiah Brown IS a Superhero. Most kids wouldn’t have noticed a darn thing (okay… not too many adults would have either).

    Bravo to the Lionesses. Love how the women players are making huge moves in sports.

    Thanks for not giving whatshisname extra page time. Juan Soto – yeah baby! Does that mean we’ll be checking out The Padres 😉

    I am sorry to say I never knew Vin Scully, but from what you shared, he sounds like one who knew how to call it. None of this nonsense of stating the obvious for the likes of him.

    Wonderful choice of music as I absolutely love Lady Day. She was one of a kind.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Q

      Yes, that’s a for shizzle to the sizzle. Go 2022! It’s not over yet!

      They dominated the Seven Kingdoms! Richard from the North and Russell from Westeros-ish! And two great men, don’t forget that.

      It’s gotta taste horrible. I’m all about sweet and savory but there are limits to this rule and that there, that’s the limit.

      Eric Roberts is another possibility.

      Don’t you just love that little truck?

      The Bengal tigers must inherit the earth when we leave it in shambles. They will do good work. I just know it.

      Ava Swiss has the name AND the game. And she’s here, thank God.

      Massiah is gonna be going places, I just have a feeling. In a moment of psychic revelation, I saw him being interviewed when he was older about this. And he’s a famous entertainer. I could be wrong, but I ain’t.

      Here’s to the women. On and off the field, they proved to be champions.

      Oh yeah babay! We are ALL IN on the Padres!

      He was simply the best. These announcers today, they all have their wise guy gimmicks and painfully obnoxious signature calls. Scully called a game the way it should be called

      I love this song, muchas gracias!


      Liked by 1 person

      • No, it ain’t!

        That they did! I love that we each have one 😉 They were definitely two great men, no worries about me forgetting.

        I love mustard, I like doughnuts but the twain together? I think not.

        Yes. That’s a good one!

        I do! So cute.

        They must. They are such beautiful beats.

        She does!

        He is. I like your revelation. And did you see that face? We ain’t done seeing him.

        Cheers to the women! The British women, the American women…


        I believe you. I kinda wish I’d heard him.

        It and so many more of her songs. You know good music.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Two giants of their sports. I wonder how many of the current athletes in those sports know and learn what these men did. I seriously don’t know. Maybe lots of them do.

          That’s what I said. One of my favorite donut combinations is coconut and bacon on top of a maple donut. Sweet and savory, but it makes sense. You can’t throw mayo on that equation!

          You like the five? It’s Heroes tucked into the rundown.

          YouTube is a wonderful classroom. Two of my favorite Scully calls of all time . . . the Mets improbably comeback in Game 6 when they were dead in the water and the Red Sox were being congratulated by the Mets stadium scoreboard for winning the World Series and Kirk Gibson coming off the bench in the ninth, on one leg, to hit a game winning home run. It was SO Robert Redford.

          It hits ya right in the kisser.

          Liked by 1 person

          • It does! And I still remember Vin’s call, and especially Gibson’s fist pump, as we dragged himself around the bases!

            It’s so easy to look back on the good times, and sometimes the bad. Now I’m trying to put more effort into living in the moment because looking into the future is just too daunting and scary!

            Thanks for bringing the good things about the past and the present into the light every week. Maybe hopes of the Padres having a decent season based on this acquisition is a small non-scary glimpse into the nearly immediate future.

            Liked by 1 person

          • As a Yankees fan, I was always envious of teams like the Dodgers, who had Vin Scully for all those years. Our high water mark for announcers was Phil Rizzuto, who was hilarious but not in the Scully class. And now we’ve had to endure John Sterling for decades, with his schtick and not much else. Where Scully painted a game into being, Sterling uses crayons.

            I hope the Padres can overcome that knucklehead Tatis getting suspended into next year. I still think they could do some damage in October.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Bill Russell was a great basketball player, but an even better person. A true giant who came along at the right time. Vince Scully is also a giant in his field. Here’s what a Cincinnati broadcast legend wrote about Scully. … TIdbit – VInce broadbase 715, but what about 714? Well, it was Cincinnati’s Marty Brennanman in his FIRST game as the Reds play-by-play announcer. And to think he last 46 years in the Reds booth.

    Gotta love what the Padres did at the trade deadline. I wish them lucky. Meanwhile, a toast to your other honorees – Ava, Massiah, Drew, and the goodness in the world. I must be off as I’m onza the road again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill Russell was a national treasure, and that’s a term that gets thrown around far too liberally. But he truly was.

      Marty Brenneman’s statement is perfect. It encapsulates what Scully meant to the game and the people who love it.

      Cincy for the WIN!!!!! I love that man. How cool that you had that in your holster! Damn that’s cool!

      I do too. The San Diego market deserves this and more. I still say the San Diego Chargers and damn, they should still be there. So let’s go Padres!

      A toast to all the good people. May their shine never be tarnished by the forgettable other stuff that takes up too much of our attention.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I am with you on this. Love me a good donut, but mustard . . . ain’t happening.

      Eric Roberts. I thought maybe it was him, but since he’s been demoted to making B movies on Prime, probably not.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Okay, I’m back!
    I had to read this twice, because all the sports…ya no?
    So.. honestly, I had to google Bill Russel. Now that I know, 👍👍👍👍👍

    Mustard doughnut – barf.

    I choose Eric Stoltz!!! Worked with him twice: once as an actor, once as a director.
    Yeah.. I got a couple of stories….but I’m actively working on Robert Loggia’s Hairbrush; so down the road. Making a list!

    Cool kids!!!! One is UPSman, the other Aquaman. Thing is, they are men.

    Yes, I got misty eyed… and somewhat snot nosed watching the vid on Ava Swiss.

    YAY!!! for the girls’ victory.

    Don’t know who he is, yet, but I wish Juan Soto the best!

    I didn’t know who Vin Scully was, until all the news spots. 👍👍👍👍👍

    Thank you for the Billie song!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Resa!

      Bill Russell lived an extraordinary life, and as with most people who change things for the better, his value will reside her in perpetuity.

      Mustard donuts is one of the dumbest ideas since they got that guy from the Apprentice to run for office.

      You make me swoon with your stories, you know that? Yeah you do, LOL.

      The little heroes we need right now. These little men are that.

      It’s an inspirational story, but let’s hope we don’t have many more of them down the road, because the madness of all these school shootings has changed the way so many young people view the world.

      To the ladies!

      Juan Soto has the swing. When you would tune in to watch a player strike out? That’s everything. It means the swing is the thing. Home runs come and go!

      Vin Scully did his thing, brilliantly, for almost seventy years. Amazing.

      But of course!


      Liked by 1 person

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