Have you ever stopped to watch — really watch — cereal commercials on television? My favorites are those aimed at children. The punchline is always “part of this complete breakfast,” which is accompanied by a picture of a breakfast setting that would be no less complete if the cereal disappeared entirely. The cut up fruit and the eggs and bacon and toast and glass of milk do not really need little orbs of puffed sugar with a crunchy sugar coating to fulfill their nutritional aspirations.
By now, regular readers of my sports columns here know my schtick: I say something provocative, make a prediction about an upcoming contest that is completely, utterly wrong in retrospect—thank you Patriots, Steelers, and Miguel Cotto for nothing—and we talk about the thing behind the thing.
The sun rose gloriously over the hill. A few wisps of fog floated down by the creek and there was just the tiniest bit of frost on the tulips. What a good day, I thought, to consider Google. I don’t know for certain that Google is now evil, but I bet that if it isn’t it soon will be. No one has ever survived possession of that much power without slipping over to the dark side.
Sports and sports journalism are replete with overwrought praise, military imagery, and hero worship. I get that. I’m a theologian; when the excesses of this sort of thing get really out of hand, few feel worse about it than me. But I’ll take the risk now, and I won’t dare try to be objective. Pat Summitt is the reason women’s college basketball matters, and why it matters to me.
A few years ago a lady of my acquaintance, the wife of a colleague, suffered terribly from arthritis. The only thing that was effective at relieving her pain was a product called Vioxx.
Have you ever had the experience where you had a conversation that seemed relatively ordinary until after the fact? Most of us have experienced this sort of retroactively meaning in our lives. Life would be different now, because what was normal ended.
Have you ever read the Bill of Rights? It is one of the foundational documents of our nation, put there to place limits on the power of the government. It specifies rights that are so fundamental that the even the government has no authority to deny or abridge them.
On the very day that nice guy and legendary trainer Angelo Dundee — in the corner with Ali, Foreman, and Sugar Ray Leonard — died, it was announced that the troubled fighter with arguably the fastest hands in all of boxing, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., has been licensed to fight in Las Vegas on May 5 against Miguel Cotto. Cotto, whose only real loss is to the best fighter in the world, Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KO), will fight Mayweather (42-0, 26 KO). And so the third-best fighter will fight the second-best, while the world of boxing waits and hopes for Pacquiao-Mayweather.
The first time I met Father Marty he was sweeping the hallway near the entrance of the parish hall behind his church, Christ the King. He greeted me warmly. It could be that he knows other greetings, but a cordial welcome with a genuine smile is the only kind I’ve ever seen. It is engaging, coming as it does from this white-haired, white bearded fellow, not tall but a little stout, who had he chosen a different career might have been Santa Claus or maybe even a leprechaun.
In my last installment, I threatened to let an ‘80s teen idol return to rock us. It was difficult to acquire the material for my subject until I found our friends at Spotify. In any case, I knew that I’d heard things I liked from an artist one might be tempted to dismiss: Rick Springfield.