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.
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.
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.
It’s only January, but if you’re like me you’re already sick of the election which is still more than nine months away. Our political system is in permanent campaign mode. But we’re not selecting a president, we’re selecting a celebrity. It’s not something we can afford to do this time around.
Bill Belichick will coach in his fifth Super Bowl, the coach and quarterback Tom Brady linked like Hall & Oates, Laurel & Hardy, like peanut butter and jelly. They both know the forty-second edition is a black mark upon what is a nearly unimpeachable legacy. Montana. Bradshaw. Brady.
If you’re like me, you have available to you a quick and easy way of increasing your living space by quite a bit. It’s this: throw away all those boxes.
A retrospective section published a few weeks ago in the local weekly I write for reminded me of just how effective a small-town, non-daily newspaper can be. And it raised the possibility of my telling a story that ought to be heard far and wide. But you won’t find it without looking. It has to do with an heroic editor who uncovered an important story of the “Emperor’s New Clothes” variety and published it — even though it ultimately cost her her newspaper.