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 of 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 . . .
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.
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.
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 what do 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.