The Rundown

Silhouettes of people standing on a high observation deck in front of the full moon

Welcome to the last Rundown of November, as Santa gets to stepping on all his propers while shoppers bargain and retailers put the peddle to their year long mettle. Meanwhile, the temps here in the East are finally catching up with the date on the calendar, which is kitschy for cocoa but not so much for those of us who appreciate flip flops.

The above capture comes to us courtesy ofΒ The Atlantic, and if I gave you a million guesses to figure out where this meeting of earth and outer space was taking place, you would only need the first one. New York City, of course; from on high at the EdgeNYC Observation Deck on the West Side of Midtown Manhattan. The shot was snapped in Hoboken, as if Sinatra was writing the lyrics.

Let’s get to Friday . . .

What is the Real Cost of the World Cup?

I don’t want to be obstinate about not watching the World Cup, but shit if they don’t make it impossible to do so. Once every four years, I give a flip about the sport for more than ten minutes, and it’s the World Cup’s fault. Until now. This has nothing to do with those silly Christmas wish list commercials starring Jon Hamm as Santa Claus in which Fox Sports pretends the US Men have a chance of grabbing gold (They don’t). No, the reason I can’t watch is because the dirty business of Qatar is starting to make the IOC peeps look like boy scouts. FIFA sold its soul to a filthy rich country that treats women, laborers and gay people like criminals. Read up on how many workers died in the leadup to the games and you’ll be saying thanks but no thanks right along with me.

Division III Football: Gallaudet Wins ECFC Title, Clinches First Playoff Bid | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report

There’s another football field in Doylestown, Pennsylvania where a Division III college team will take the field to play Delaware Valley University in the opening round of their playoff tournament tomorrow. The Gallaudet Bison are in the postseason for only the second time in school history and the first time in a decade. This small private school outside of Washington D.C. is special in a way none of those big league FIFA teams can match.

They’ve battled illness, which swept through a quarter of their roster last month, and they only have three full-time coaches on staff presently. And yet, here they are and these kids believe here is just the start. Their head coach Chuck Goldstein hasn’t used his whistle since he got to campus. That’s because Gallaudet is a school for the deaf and hard of hearing. They rely on a big bass drum and sign language since words carry no weight. And that’s more than okay with this group, because they’re winning with a most novel approach in this day and age. By leaning on each other.

They’re proof that actions speak louder than words.


Leave it to Jon Stewart to encapsulate the Kanye/Kyrie imbroglio with his razor sharp wit. His interview with Colbert is pure genius as he deftly weaves between comedy and honest social commentary. I was a fan of this guy thirty years ago, but I have to tell you, he’s gotten so much better with age.

Frank “Beach Walks” Angle sent me this one. It’s how people in Michigan deal with subfreezing temps and a shit ton of snow. They make buff snowmen whilst attending football games. This young lady’s work is impressive as all get out, but her gloveless “ain’t no thing” attitude leaves me whatting my whats! The only person more shamed than me is that fat bastid, Frosty the Snowman.

There was an announcement from some guy down in Florida that took place on Tuesday but for the life of me I can’t remember what in the blessed hell it was about. I even left a reminder to myself in my draft folder which read “Address the HUGE announcement by that guy in Florida on the Rundown this Friday!”. . . . and while you would think that would be enough to jog my memory, nope. The front page of the Rupert Murdoch owned New York Post was having just as much trouble as I was remembering who this guy was and what he was going to be announcing, so they went with Florida Man.

I don’t know why I like it so much, but I do.

How to win at Scrabble: tips from two world champions | News Review | The Sunday Times

The peeps at Scrabble have updated their word count by more than 500 of the little buggers, and it’s sure to lead to mayhem across the land as players get used to the new normal. I am here for that!

A top five favorite ‘o yours truly? Sure why not . . .

1- Thingie- It was only a matter of time
2- Verbing- They understand me
3- Bae- Mmm Hmmm
4- Fauxhawk- My submission in that contest to rename Washington’s football team
5- Welp- It’s about damn time!

Len Johnson is never going to own the front pages or score the top spot on the cable news shows, and it’s a good bet he’ll never trend. Never mind that he’s earned a Purple Heart, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, and a Presidential Unit Citation. No, all he’s ever going to be remembered for when his time on this planet comes to an end is the positive difference he made in the lives of so many people on a daily basis.

A former Marine, Lance Corporal Johnson was sent home from Vietnam after suffering multiple wounds in a firefight. He was all of eighteen when he lost the use of his left foot while staring death in the face at a time when many kids his age were preparing for college. But what the war took from him pales in comparison to what the man has given back to the world ever since.

He’s been a volunteer for the organization Disabled American Veterans (DAV) for fifty years now. This involves checking in on veterans in and around the Philadelphia area and lending a helping hand. Sometimes it’s groceries and sometimes he’s driving them to a doctor’s appointment and sometimes it’s just a conversation. Johnson does the little things that mean so much and he doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon. And as Saint Vincent is my witness, he also visits veterans who have been incarcerated and drops off toys for the children at the Catholic Workers Orphanage.

So whatΒ doΒ you give the man who has given everything?

A group of local veterans along with the folks at TrueCar answered that question when they gifted Johnson with a brand new Chevy Traverse. It will replace his twenty-year old minivan that had logged more than 300,000 miles. They presented him with his new ride at a small gathering of family and friends, far from the spotlight and the headlines and the crush of a madding crowd. The smiles provided the answers to all of life’s big questions, the hugs were the most finely written of scripts and the words were simple ones, full of love and honor, gratitude and service. The lesson was simplest of all.

Chase the quiet of great things.



79 thoughts on “The Rundown

  1. B

    What? You’re not doing the last Friday of the month? at least we get a heads up πŸ˜‰ Tell me about the cold. It’s been quite the flip up here in the Montreal area for cold. Brrr.

    That is a muy cool photo!

    I loathe that these places with disgusting amount of money (not to mention even more disgusting treatment of human beings) are able to come in and host international events. The numbers are all over the place and whether exaggerated or not, are still way too many.

    Wow to the Gallaudet Bison! I love this. Proof once again a disability is a question of perspective.

    I love John Stewart. He is a smart man and he is right (again) on this one.

    That snow beefcake is something else! Barehanded? No way!

    I can’t stop chuckling at this front page news in the New York Post.

    Welp made it! Woot! I’m sure there are those who will insist on spelling it “Thingy”… that’s gonna cause all sorts of arguments and shots be downed on some games.

    Men like Len Johnson are a gift. I think they are just born with bigger hearts than anyone else. And I love that a group of local veterans turned the table on him and gifted him with a much deserved vehicle.

    I haven’t heard that song in ages. Thank you, I’ll be humming it all day (and not made about it, at all).

    Beauty of a Rundown, as per!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Q

      Nope, this was the last Rundown of the month. Not sure if I’ll post next Friday or not but I figured a heads up was in order. πŸ˜‰

      As for the brrrr? Mo Nature stopped hitting the snooze!

      Right? I love how it appears to be floating on thin air.

      Qatar is a disgrace and FIFA should be ashamed of themselves for taking their money. Of course, they’re not ashamed, because they’re below feeling any shame at all. Sad.

      The Bison is a true feel good story in the world of sports. Good for them.

      Jon Stewart for public office. Why not?

      This is how they handle snow in that part of the country. I’m surprised this young woman was even wearing a jacket….

      Florida Man is how everyone should refer to him from this point forward.

      Scrabble is getting down with the times. Too bad the companies that make these games don’t air commercials anymore, because it would be hilarious to feature the new words and players reactions to them.

      You’re right, heroes all around. These are the people who ask for nothing and give everything. They do their thing in the quiet, but their actions reverberate.

      I dig that song. I hadn’t heard it in ages either and then I realized it would go perfectly with the opening capture so there’s that.



      Liked by 1 person

      • Well… dang. But, of course, I respect your decision.

        Nature has definitely broken the snooze button (for now, anyway).

        It does!

        They can’t feel shame as they pocket the moolah handed over them. I just wish they had better morals and chose a less obviously rigid-against-human-rights kind of place.

        It really is. Go Bison!

        For sure. However, the rest of the politicos would be all over him and who knows how much he could hold his ground?

        Welp, since we don’t really watch network TV, how do we know there are no commercials? Right, right, you could google them, but still…

        Cheers to the real heroes. The quiet ones who just go about their thing.

        It was the perfect choice of song (as you pretty much always, do). I’m listening to it again and suddenly feel like watching Arthur!


        Liked by 1 person

        • I’ll be Thanksgiving-ed out by this time next week.

          The snooze be busted.

          The President of FIFA went on an HOUR long tirade on the eve of the games. He issued a blistering rebuke to the ‘hypocrites’ of the west who criticize the games in Qatar. Nothing like a self righteous, greed driven jerk giving lessons on morality….

          Alas, the Bison got whacked yesterday. But it doesn’t mean their season was a failure, far from it.

          Who knows? We’ll find out.

          I watch old commercials on YouTube. The guy who doesn’t watch commercials….

          Len Johnson and his ilk do the Lord’s work, in the quiet of their days. No fanfare, as it should be.

          It’s a cool tune!


          Liked by 1 person

  2. Great opening photo! Glad you enjoyed my stadium snowman contribution.

    Wow … I had something similar to the Wash Post in my November recollection for December. Hell, maybe I’ll omit it. Gotta love those Bison, and if anyone could market Fauxhawks, it’s the NFL!

    Your description of Jon Stewart is perfect, and he did hit the ball WAY over the fence and into the upper deck. I’m not talkin’ that right field upper porch in Texas, but straight away center at the Polo Grounds.

    Len Johnson is a hero …. and so are the vets who bought him the new ride. Here’s another vet doing it right for other vets.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m always amazed at how some people treat the freezing temps as if it’s just another day. I loved that snowfan.

      Nah, don’t pull it. Florida Man is the new term and it has to be said over and over.

      The Bison are a real deal feel good story in sports. We need it.

      By the way? Speaking of the NFL, that Packers Cowboys game last week drew 29 million viewers. A regular season game in the middle of the season . . . three times as many viewers as last year’s NBA finals game.

      I asked Dale and Imma ask you. Jon Steward for public office? Why not?

      A great story about great people doing great things. Doesn’t get any better than that.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Everything that Dale said. I’m totally ignorant with sports unless it is The Dolphins , The Heat, the Bucs ( yuck), UM…so on and so forth. Hats off to Gallaudet Bison, a Ray of light! I love Steven Colbert from way back and yes, he just gets better the more crap they give him to work with. Have a happy day Marc. Enjoyed the post, the video and New York!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved the “moon shot” at the beginning. True story – about two months ago I was thinking of doing a post on the World Cup in Qatar. I wasn’t sure how many people would know going into it how criminal it was they got the Cup played there in the first place, how criminal the host country treated workers constructing the sites, the daily politics of Qatar, etc. Throw in the “beer zones” they’ve created, the complete lack of hotels, etc. and I came to the conclusion I couldn’t do justice to all of the madness surrounding this event. On a less important side, having it this time of year has disrupted football leagues around the globe, and quite honestly my sports calendar in the US couldn’t be busier right now. Great story on Gallaudet. The human spirit triumphs again, as it does with Corporal Johnson’s service to mankind. If I play Scrabble again, I plan on rolling out those “new” eligible words to show how very hip I am.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent post, Pilgrim. I’m with you on the World Cup. I love that group of Bisons. More heart there than all of the NFL. Super story on the snowman being from Michigan; I can tell you folks there are nuts. (Who needs gloves) I agree with you on Stewart. Len Johnson is a saint. Thanks for the rundown.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great way to tie the opening photo with the closing song!
    I remember having to freeze my butt in football stadiums in my marching band days. I’ll take a permanent pass, especially if it means sitting next to Frosty, buff or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve always been a huge Jon Stewart fan, but after he went to bat for First Responders speaking before Congress, that’s when I became a serious Stewartite. His intelligence is laced with so much poignancy that he’s a nonpareil advocate for all that is good and just.

    The opposite of that Florida man the Post so effortlessly garroted, making Jimmy and Pete proud up in the ether.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Stewart has changed up his game over the last several decades. From what I remember of him, he was never this. He was more Seinfield-ian, in that he offered up observations about the minutiae of every day life. Now, he speaks like the leader we don’t have.

      Murdoch’s orders were to whitewash that guy in Florida, as he has vowed to support any GOP challenger over him. Such is the devastation Florida Man has caused, that even his sycophants have stopped suckling.

      Liked by 1 person

      • He’s now back on Twitter, thanks to Mister, fuck you, Musk. Just what we need is more hurling from the Florida man. Did you know, his home once belonged to the esteemed lady, Marjorie Merriweather Post who left Mar-i-lago, however the fuck you spell it, to the government hoping they’d use it for a warm, presidential retreat, who decided, they couldn’t afford it which is why the wicked warlock of the east got to move in. Trumpian trivia, as if we need more.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Just beautiful Marco, again. Love your newsroom. I’ve watched every game at every world cup for decades. Scotland used to be regulars, but not for years. But this time…hope football rescues itself from this shitshow. Celtic, by the way, have the brilliant cameron carter vickers. We love the big man…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The moon shot is fab!

    fifa (doesn’t deserve caps this year) NO thanks & NO thanks.
    I’m not sure what it means, but Toronto is one of fifa’s picks in 2026.

    The The Gallaudet Bison story is one of your best sports stories!

    The Jon Stewart interview is funny and poignant. Thank you!

    Frank comes up with some good ones. Adore the Snowfan clip.

    A child of war, being bested by a Florida man story? Hmm, not sure if I get this.

    The new Scrabble words… ok.
    My mom died of brain cancer. She spent her last days in a hospice with other brain cancer people. She loved smoking. As far as I was concerned, I would buy her all the cigs she wanted.
    One day we were waiting for the 1 working elevator in the home, so she could get to the court yard and smoke. To pass time I read all the flyers and notices on the B-Board by the elevator.
    One announced “Tuesday nights – Scrable Tournaments”.
    Yes, Scrable was misspelled. I pointed it out to the staff, but no one seemed to know what I was talking about.

    Hooray for Len Johnson ✨🌟✨🌟✨

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I did not discover John Stewart on The Daily Show till shortly before he left, and I still feel his absence from the platform. Trever Noah is OK but personally I got so much more impact out of what John Stewart said because he is an American.

    I (and probably many others) already considered Noah’s native country of South Africa to be “bad” from the get-go. America is/was supposed to be so much “better.” IDK, maybe if he made direct comparisons between the two countries about some of the subjects he discusses, I might have appreciated what he had to say a little more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never watched Noah, and admittedly, I didn’t watch the Daily Show much at all. But I knew Stewart’s work as a comedian coming up and then I watched some stuff with him as he graduated to host/commentator. He’s bringing the impact, you’re right.

      Liked by 1 person

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