Salute the Fallen. Stand Up. Bad Decisions. Gone Missing. Just Make the Damn Call.

Memorial Day.  Our Anthem. Blunders Magnified.  It Just Disappeared.  VAR in the MLS.  

Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day is now celebrated on the last Monday of May.  The holiday commemorates all women and men who have died in military service for the United States.  Please fly our Flag.

Speaking of our Flag…..the National Football League has put their foot in the sand regarding players respecting our National Anthem.  While I am a patriot and a U.S. citizen, I don’t necessarily think that the National Anthem should be played before every sporting event.  Don’t misconstrue what I am saying:  if the National Anthem is played, everyone, including the players, should stand and respect the anthem and our flag.  I just don’t think it is imperative to hear the anthem before a first pitch, kickoff, or jump ball.   Now that I have you stirred up, remember to use the Comments section of the blog to give me back your take.

Real Madrid won the Champions League for the third consecutive time beating Liverpool 3-1.  Liverpool’s goalkeeper, Loris Karius, gifted the game away to Liverpool, making two massive mistakes.  Think Bill Buckner’s error in the 10th inning of the 1986 World Series game, where a simple ground ball found it’s way through Buckner’s legs.  Or when Chris Webber called a timeout with his team trailing by two in the 1993 NCAA Basketball National Championship game – with the problem being that his team had no more timeouts.  Karius’ blunders were mind-boggling and ruined what was a competitive Champions League final.  He will need a sports psychologist after what happened yesterday.

It has been over four years and finally authorities have decided to end the search for flight MH-370.   This was the Malaysia Air Lines flight that disappeared on March 8, 2014 with 239 passengers on board.  After hundreds of millions of dollars spent on the search, we may never really know what, how and why the airliner vanished.  There are many conspiracy theories, including the pilot committing ‘flight suicide’, but this may be a mystery that lingers for a very long time.
You have to give credit to Major League Soccer and their ownership groups.  They have grown this league in a mere twenty-two years – and now, at some levels, the MLS competes with some of world’s more prominent leagues.  There have been some great decisions made and the effort to attract the right owners have paid great dividends.  There has also been missteps, just like any other fledgling business, but for the most part the League has been careful with the decisions they have made on and off the field, except for one: the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).  Similar to the NFL, the NBA, and the NHL, using the VAR was designed to enhance the integrity of the game, using video replay to confirm a touchdown, a technical foul, or whether a goal was actually scored.  Unfortunately, the wide parameters the MLS set in motion to utilize VAR has scarred many MLS games this year.  I won’t go into detail, but VAR usage, at a minimum, has interrupted the flow of the ‘beautiful game’ and minimized the decision-making process by the referees on the field.  Many goals given by the referees have been overturned by the VAR – to the point that many fans are not celebrating a goal until they are totally convinced that the VAR process will not overturn the the referee’s decision.  We can only hope that the MLS executives figure out the VAR dilemma quickly.
Adios and Have a Great Holiday Weekend!  

 

 

 

 

 

Another Tragedy. The Lighter Side of Things. NYRB War. Justify.

I Just Don’t Understand Bears, The Wedding, Big Hair, P.Diddy, and a Discussion of the Cephalopod.  These Two Just Don’t Like Each Other.  On The Way to a Triple Crown?

After the tragedy at the Parkland, Florida high school, I stated that school security, not gun control, should be our #1 initiative: “I will not comment on why a 19-year old possessed a AR-15 rifle, groups of gun activists or gun control, nor our divided political system.  What I will comment on is school security.  Don’t get me wrong, I put no blame on the high school administrators where last week’s massacre took place.  My bewilderment relates to the ability of someone, anyone, able to enter a school with little security in place.  I only wish that the Washington, D.C.  protest would have been more focused on school safety than gun control.”  My  point is unfortunately reinforced with yesterday’s massacre at the Santa Fe High School near Houston, Texas.  The weapons, a shotgun and a .38 caliber handgun, were most likely purchased legally.  Gun control would have not changed the outcome of a 17 year-old who took the weapons from his house and walked into the high school he attended with the intention of killing his fellow students.  The guns he used were owned by his father so it is unlikely that gun control would have prevented this sick young man’s father from purchasing the weapons.  I will never understand why there is little to no security within our school systems.  I don’t know if the answer is employing retired police officers or our retired veterans, but Parkland, Santa Fe, Columbine, and other school tragedies all had one common denominator:  the perpetrator simply walked into a school and carried out the massacres.  I no longer have a school-age child but if I did I would help lead the charge to better protect all of our children when they are in school.

On the lighter side of things:  a large black bear, totally confused and mistaken, broke into a Colorado U.S. Post Office searching for efficiency, streamlined processes, and strong management.  The bear left quickly.

Takeaways from yesterday’s Royal Wedding. I liked her dress and Harry looked like he was going to pass out. Enough said.  (Yes, Kirk, I watched part of the ceremony).

Maybe there will or will not be a meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.  At a minimum, they can discuss each other’s hair styles.  A match made in heaven.

I have no idea what a Kerry James Marshall painting is worth (or more importantly why it has value).  With that said, “famous art collector” P.Diddy paid $21 million for the painting.  Yes, I said P.Diddy.

From a report in the Scientific Journal:  “Evidence of the role of extraterrestrial viruses in affecting terrestrial evolution has recently been plausibly implied in the gene and transcriptome sequencing of Cephalopods,” the researchers write. “The genome of the Octopus shows a staggering level of complexity with 33,000 protein-coding genes more than is present in Homo sapiens.”  Yes, all of us understand exactly what this scientist is discussing. Simply defined,”the Octopus is an alien specie and supports the belief that modern cephalopods evolved to their present form here on Earth and propose the possibility that those we see today are the descendants of creatures that arrived on Earth frozen in an icy comet.”  Obviously, I did not pay attention to my core curriculum in my freshman biology class.

All Atlanta United matches at Mercedes Benz Stadium are fun but tonight’s game with the New York Red Bulls should be very entertaining.  There is NO love lost between these two teams.

After yesterday’s win at a foggy and muddy Preakness, can #Justify win the Triple Crown?

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mom. Net Neutrality. Blah, Blah, Blah. July 15. Graduation.

Do Something for Your Mom.  Slowing Down Certain Content.   Give Us Some Positive News.  A Summer Viewing Party in Downtown Atlanta.  The Nurse and Dr. of Pharmacy.

Today is Mother’s Day.  The so-called modern version of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908 and similar to other holidays many people have criticized Mother’s Day as over-hyped and commercialized.  Really?  You can pick on Halloween all you want but today is Mother’s Day. Call her, see her, send flowers and celebrate your mom.

By definition, net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers (ISP’s) treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication. Under these principles, internet service providers are unable to intentionally block, slow down or charge money for specific websites and online content.  This week, the decision was made by the FCC to end net neutrality on June 11.  So how could this affect all of us?  The net neutrality rules that are currently in place, protecting internet users from discriminatory behavior by ISPs, will no longer exist effective on June 11.  Net neutrality rules prevent ISPs from controlling the Internet via fast and slow lanes and from prioritizing their own content. A lack of net neutrality regulation will consequently allow ISPs’ blocking or prioritization of content.  As a simple example, an ISP like Comcast, who owns NBC Universal, could effectively slow down a website and content owned by one of their competitors, a.k.a. AT&T or Verizon.  Forget the politics and regulation, nothing about losing net neutrality seems to bode well for the consumer.

I won’t write about politics but with that said is anyone else just sick and tired of Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels, the CIA director nomination, and the Royal Wedding?  The real news is that the World Cup opening match is June 14 and NFL exhibition football starts in 83 days.  Bring it on.

Regarding the World Cup, Atlanta United has again come up with the big fun idea for the World Cup Final, to be played on July 15th.  With Atlanta United home to the Seattle Sounders the same day, Darren Eales and staff have decided to open up Mercedes Benz Stadium for what could be the world’s largest indoor viewing party of a World Cup Final.  The World Cup Final starts at 11am EDT followed by the Atlanta-Seattle battle at 2pm.  Downtown Atlanta better be ready for what should be a crazy Friday and Saturday.  To keep things in perspective, the total viewing audience for the 2014 World Cup tournament was 3.3 billion, with over a billion people watching the Final.  103 million watched the 2018 Super Bowl.

Congratulations to Lisa’s Sammie and Doug’s Annette:  celebrating their graduation weekend, one on her way to a nursing career, the other earning a Doctorate in Pharmacy.

Adios, have a Funday Sunday.

 

All Sports for the 1st Sunday of May.

The $100 Million Dollar Man.  No Mr. Ed.   The Sir Alex Ferguson.  Atlanta on Fire. The Cornhusker Roll.  

One of my first blog posts, almost two years ago, slammed Atlanta Falcons quaterback Matt Ryan for his indecisiveness and lack of mobility.   Yes, my assessment was totally incorrect as I had no clue how much work Ryan had done in that off season to improve his arm strength and overall physicality.  After I went off on him before that season he went on to be the league’s MVP.  When I am wrong, I am really wrong.  Now, two years later, he is thirty-three and gearing up for the 2018 NFL season.  MSN Sports ranks him the NFL’s fifth best quarterback, behind Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, and Drew Brees – which you may or may not agree with.  With all of that said, the Atlanta Falcons extended Ryan’s contract, giving him $150m over 5 years, with $100 million of it guaranteed.   The five-year part of it, until Ryan is 38, is eyebrow-raising enough, but the $100m guaranteed contract sets a precedent that is not necessarily healthy for the NFL and other professional sports.  Yes, Tom Brady and Drew Brees may finally be near the end of their careers but the go-forward discussions with Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, based on Ryan’s new deal, should lead to some very interesting renegotiations.

How does Bob Baffert do it?  Five Kentucky Derby winners, including yesterday’s winner, Justify, in the 144th running of the Derby.

Prayers and thoughts to Sir Alex Ferguson and his family – the coaching icon underwent surgery yesterday and is hopefully recovering from a brain hemorrhage.

With last night’s road win for Atlanta United against Chicago, along with NYCFC’s loss to the Red Bulls, United is now on top of Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference.  Wednesday night’s match against Sporting KC, the Western Conference leaders, should be another sellout at Mercedes Benz Stadium.  A quick turnaround for both teams as Sporting KC beat Colorado last night.  Would Atlanta sports fans every think that three of their professional sports teams would be in the hunt to win championships?  United, the Falcons, and now the Braves seem to have something great going on.  Don’t discount the Hawks, who are undergoing a rebuilding process but with a positive draft, a couple of key trades, and a new head coach, will be competitive very soon.

It can be recreational in nature and includes words oil, spin, bed posts, cherry, kegler, and back up balls.  You can lay it down, split it and the sweet spot changes depending on location.  Now get your mind out of the gutter and realize that the activity is bowling – one of America’s pastimes with participants young and old.  I always have had the upmost respect for the sport – as someone who played many sports growing up, I have always had a very difficult time with bowling.  My respect for the sport has increased as last week I had the chance to catch HBO’s Real Sports program.  One of the segments was very well done as the piece covered the University of Nebraska women’s bowling team.  A team that recruits worldwide, trains at the football team’s athletic complex, and has won ten national championships. Their coach competed on the Professional Bowlers Association tour and at 6’5″ and 22o lbs, Coach Bill Straub commands the respect of his players with one consistent demand:  his entire team, no matter their previous success and pedigree, must throw every ball in the same precise manner.  Hundreds of training hours (or course within NCAA regulations) are focused on the arm swing, and any deviation is corrected immediately.  No one can argue with the ten national titles and 22 All-Americans at Nebraska, no longer just associated with being a college football powerhouse.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday!