The Rundown

10 Things That Prove Santa Claus Is A Superhero

Welcome to the last Rundown of 2022, but also. . . of all time!

Too much? Yeah maybe I shoulda quit my Nicholas Cage marathon before it overed my arches. But I’m actually playing poker with a truthful hand as this episode will be the last time I tuck this magical mystery tour into a recurring role. In 2023, The Rundown will appear sporadically; Like, I’ll write one when Donald Trump is sent to prison. Then I’ll write another one when the Netflix docu-series “Florida Man” drops. Of course, I can’t forget to write one when Volodymyr Zelenskyy throws his hat in the ring for the 2024 race to the White House. All that to say, these episodes will be around.

Let’s hit it!

Volodymyr Zelensky: 5 takeaways from Ukrainian President's historic visit to Washington | CNN Politics

Speaking of Volodymyr Zelensky, he paid us a visit this week.

It was an historic jaunt and yet all I could think about was, can you imagine the security around this guy? I can see Delaware governor John Carney wondering where in the hell his budget got to! Because to my way of thinking, the attention to this detail had to be expensive.

Couple of other things struck me about Zelensky. For one thing, he’s the most unassuming of leaders. He doesn’t give a flip what others think of him, but he’s also not rancorous about it. And he knows how to read the room, which is something many of our leaders on this side of the ocean should be taking notes on. He’s going to need all the toughness and resolve he’s shown to this point if he wants to end this war anytime soon. My takeaway from this week is the same as it ever was.

Don’t bet against the guy.

  • If Elon Musk keeps up this agent of chaos business, his resume is  . . . dare I say, presidential.
  • Yes, I have had Chinese take-out on Christmas Day more times than once. And?

When you walk through the Pittsburgh International Airport, you’ll walk by two statues: One is of George Washington, and the other Franco Harris. To the locals, the importance of these two men is a dead heat. That’s how much the former Pittsburgh Steelers great means to the Steel City.

The Hall of Fame running back’s “Immaculate Reception” (video above) has some history to it that you might not be aware of. Not only did it help win Pittsburgh’s first ever post-season game, but it was the team’s first ever post-season touchdown as well.

That legendary catch will be commemorated this weekend in Pittsburgh and Harris was scheduled to be on hand. Now, it will be a tribute to the man who made it possible.

Franco Harris was 72 years old.

  • According to the latest dish on Trump’s tax returns, the guy has been celebrating Christmas all year round for years!
  • Google owned streaming service YouTube will pay 2 billion dollars a year to telecast out of market NFL games starting next season. Roger Goodell monetizes his brand on a level Gene Simmons can only dream of.

What Is a Bomb Cyclone? - Scientific American

Millions of Americans are bracing for what meteorologists are calling a “once in a lifetime storm”. More than half the country is going to be in the crosshairs of heavy snow and high winds and more then two million flights have already been canceled. That’s because a “bomb cyclone” will be canoodling with a blast of cold air from Canada to create the kind of blockbuster James Cameron couldn’t quite score with Avatar 2.

Too soon?

  • I had a dream that Tom Brady was the “elegant demon” the Pope was warning his staff about. And my question is. Does Joan Osborne know about this?
  • Barry on HBO is the most hilariously fucked up show I’ve watched since “Piper’s Pit”. And a lot smarter.

Every year around this time, Mike Witmer puts in a call to the heavens above. His connection comes in the form of a light display that began as a show of hope, love and support for a neighbor and has taken on a life of its own.

‘Kevin was a cool kid in the neighborhood – he swam on the local swim team with my kids and we all became friends . .  He was a good athlete and had a great sense of humor. He was very outgoing and would talk to anyone,” Says the fifty-six year old Witmer who works as a land surveyor in Maryland. So when Kevin was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2002 at eleven years of age, his neighbor got the idea to put his name in lights.

A twenty-year tradition was born with the words “Get Well Kevin” and when the kid’s mother told Mike how much her son loved seeing his name up there every holiday season, well . . there was no turning back. When his cancer went into remission, Witmer found a way to sneak in a “Hi Kevin” somewhere in his Christmas lights display.

The cancer came back in 2010, this time for keeps. It took the 19 year old college student because life is always busy taking the things we can least afford to lose. It’s why Witmer has kept calling to the heavens every year since. Because while he knows the fates are undefeated, he’s also learned that kindness travels.

What began twenty years ago as a sign of encouragement for a young boy continues on, because death is never the end of a person’s story. Death simply means someone else will do the telling.  And those lights still speak to Kevin and you know what I believe? I believe he is speaking right back.

Merry Christmas

63 thoughts on “The Rundown

  1. Good toast to Zelensky! From what I understand, as good as a football was Franco Harris, he was an even better person. Now that’s a complete HOFer. I remember watching the Immaculate Reception live. Definitely one of those Holy Shit moments! Just another example of (whatever the sport) watch enough games, you’ll see something new. Just like the way the Pats lost last week against the Raiders. Meanwhile, I haven’t thought about Piper’s Pit in a long time!

    The “Hi Kevin” story is a great way to close the regular editions of The Rundown. It’s been a good run. Thanks for what you’ve provided.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I came of age in the 70s and the Steelers winning four Super Bowls was why they became my team. In my memory, Franco Harris was the ultimate Steeler. He and Rocky Bleier rumbling out of the backfield. Big, powerful backs who just steam-rolled over anybody in their way. That was the Steelers back then. And Harris just played the game with quiet grace. He had dignity and he defined the Steeler Way. At least that’s my opinion.

    The $2 billion for one year of NFL rights is just stupid money. STUPID MONEY!! I can’t think of anything else to say about that. It’s just ridiculous.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The refs missed the call… the immaculate reception should have been an incompletion. Rules at the time said two offensive players in a row could not touch a pass. Go Browns. Even we respect Franco Harris.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Funny, I was just telling Frank how the Raiders have been on the wrong end of history not once, but twice. Fast forward less than thirty years from that game with the tuck rule game in New England. Whoa.

      To Franco.

      Thanks Kieran

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Enjoyed it, Pilgrim. Volodymyr Zelensky is unique for a head of state. He cares more for his people than he does for himself. Too bad BoBo can’t think that way. Franco Harris was a true gentleman. The immaculate reception aside, he was what most men should aspire to be. Storms a biggie. Sitting here at 18 degrees. Love the Kevin story. Merry Christmas, Marco.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Recalling the Immaculate Reception this week gave me goosebumps. Again. Then when I heard of Franco’s passing, I was sad. A wonderful human on and off the gridiron. RIP #32, a truly class act. Period.

    LOVE the Hi Kevin story. It’s amazing how that kind of good can live on in the lives of those left behind.

    May the spirit of the season fill your heart and home. Peace, joy and hope from all of us at the Ranch.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Zelensky is a class act, no matter what he wears. Ukrainians could have done a lot worse selecting a leader, eh? It is “we the people” in the US who need to do a better job picking our politicians.

    I’ll miss the Rundown, but I’m sure whatever you choose to share with your loyal peeps will be equally inspired.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. canoodling…one of my favorite words…and it’s 7 degrees here in Noo Yawk City after it being 57 yesterday, and I’m no weather girl.

    It’s safe to say, Liz Chaney will get her wish since, if nothing else happens to Donald J. Trump after the findings of the Jan. 6th vigilant, patriotic committee, we will never see him at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue again.

    Now that makes for a very Merry Christmas, if you were to ask me.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. B,

    Last one! Forever?!

    Somehow, that doesn’t worry me. Somehow I just know you are going to come up with something that we’ll all love so.. There. Plus, sporadically, is not a bad thing 😉

    Volodymyr Zelensky is what it’s all about, crazy security detail aside. He’s not out there to put on a show (funny, I just watched (again) Love, Actually, and Billy Bob plays the prez and is so NOT Zelensky. I am rooting for him to bring this damn war to an end – in his favour.

    Elon Musk… eesh.
    I wanted to have Chinese take-out on Christmas back in 2009 when we had the Mick Celebration Hospital Situation. And I am still not over that the place that has been open forever and then some did not answer the phone! I know they are still open. Musta been a carazy night, is all I can think. Maybe I’ll try again, some day.

    That Immaculate Reception is some crazy shit right there. No wonder they have a statue of Harris. He was too young to leave this Earth.

    ∵ Of course Trump has. Who here is surprised – besides him for finally being nailed for it!
    ∵ 2 billion dollars… mind-boggling.

    That storm ended up being (again) over-hyperbolized. Yes, we got wind and snow and cold but honestly, nothing to cry about.

    ∵Buahahaha! What a dream!
    ∵ Barry is seriously cray-cray this season. We’ve only got one left!!

    I absolutely love that you and John picked the same winner story re Kevin. It’s such a beautiful one.

    Can’t go wrong with a little Chuck Berry fun!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Q

      Who knows? Not even the Shadow really does.

      Yeah, there’s gonna be something to take its place down the line. I ain’t sweating or doubting. It just happens.

      The thing about Putin is that some reports have him ailing. So a guy whose health is taking the next exit? Very unpredictable and that is no bueno.

      Elon Musk has lost over 200 billion dollars. I wrote that more than once and it still doesn’t compute.

      As for Chinese take-out. THAT is what I should have had for dinner!

      Franco was the Steelers as much as any player who passed through that place. He was the ambassador of toughness merging with class.

      Trump leverages everything. He never gets his hands dirty. He is a scavenger who always leaves someone else with the bill. And how exactly was this different for a politician?

      Some places got positively slammed. We only had to suffer through a couple nights of single digits.

      I’m not convinced Barry will be back until Barry is back. HBO is cutting loads of its content right now.

      It is that!

      A classic, fo sho.


      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s okay. I’m jiggy with whatever comes out of that pen of yours (so to speak). As you said, whatever comes, will come. And we’ll be here to read it.

        Ailing. Hmm… I’ll believe it when there is more than heresay.

        That amount of money in one person’s coffers is just mind-blowing to me.

        I haven’t had Chinese take-out in a dog’s age. Hmmm….

        I believe you on that one.

        He is an expert at getting what he wants no matter how and somehow manages to pass the buck. Maybe not this time, eh, Trump?

        I realised that some got it way worse than others. Ours was not that bad, in the end.

        I’m not either. So many cuts in every milieu.

        Fo sho!

        And yes 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  9. You had me going! Okay so Rundown only once in a while.
    Are you planning a replacement?

    That was a fab touchdown, says the non sports person.

    Zelensky is admirable. I can’t stand the way Ukrainians are suffering. I saw footage of lots of people all bundled up, shaving ice into bottles for survival.
    Honestly, I might sound nuts, but I keep the apartment at 66F, in spirit. IF .. we get a sunny day, with no wind, it climbs to 68/69.
    When the storm was passing, it went down to 64F up here.

    I hope pootin drops dead.

    Oh, I just saw that Elon Musk is the first person in history to lose 200 Billion dollars. Now, he’s only worth a paltry 136 Billion.
    The Kevin story is very cool. I also saw it on John’s blog.

    Took a bit of time to sew, draw and veg.
    I started a couple of tales, and will get back to ya! Almost done an Eric Stoltz tale.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe something different, or maybe I’ll just blog, write a post of whatever comes speeding through my brain.

      Resa weighing in on sports in ANY way is a big deal 😉

      Zelensky is something we find so little of in these times, he’s a leader. And the kind of leader these people can stand behind.

      I don’t blame you. I don’t like it warm either. Keeping it cool is the way to go. Hey, they invented blankets for a reason, right?

      Putin just might. He’s not in the greatest health.

      Imagine losing more than half of your wealth and still being on the rich list like that?

      Yes, that Kevin story was too good. Special.

      Excellent, you delightful sorceress!


      Liked by 1 person

  10. The last regularly-scheduled Rundown? This is not a good way to start out my New Year. Ugh. Since arriving here, I have come to really love the multiple, anything-is-possible subjects posted upon. You never know what all you’ll find when a new post pops up. I think it is a great format. There also are not a ton of sports-lovers on WP, and it has been nice to converse on pro and college athletic endeavors as well. Marc, I wish you and yours the best for 2023! Bruce (aka WOTC)

    Liked by 1 person

    • They’ll be around once a month at least, because I’ve been encouraged by the outpouring of good stuff about the thing from peeps like you.

      After the news that Damar Hamlin is awake and alert, I feel like it’s okay to talk some sports again. Hopefully we bring more perspective to these games and the men who play them.

      I ain’t going away, thanks to good people like you Bruce.

      Thank you

      Liked by 1 person

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