Keeping It Light.

Let’s Just Tone It Down.

In the last few weeks my posts have tried to address some serious issues. Covid-19 and it’s resurgence, especially with the 18-35 demographic; social unrest in cities across the world; and bigotry, racism, and discrimination. With respect to everyone, I am at point of “issue fatigue” so I thought I would try to lighten up my take for today’s post.

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The Major League Soccer restart begins Wednesday, July 8 in Orlando, Florida. The league, above and beyond all the Covid-19 precaution and protocol, has put specific emphasis on the expected heat during this season-opening tournament. Game times are set at 9am, 8pm, and 10:30pm. To keep it in perspective, Orlando temperatures: 94 degrees at 8pm last night and morning temperatures hover in the low to mid 80’s. To say the least, team doctors, fitness specialists, and nutritionists will be very busy during this tournament.

Blow up dolls. The owner of this South Carolina restaurant showed her creativity with social distancing while abiding to capacity protocols. S² and JP: keep your thoughts to yourself.

A Taylors, SC restaurant owner – a very smart idea.

Who would have thought that 60 days ago we would be a few weeks away from restarting Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, and NFL players reporting to training camp? Sports can be a great distraction – especially considering everything we have dealt with the last few months.

Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken. The NASA astronauts who recently guided the SpaceX Crew Dragon spaceship to rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS). On Friday, they took their seventh and eighth spacewalk respectively, with this one for a specific purpose of replacing lithium ion batteries on one of the ISS’s power panels. Brave doesn’t begin to describe these two and all astronauts who venture into space.

A simulation of what Cassidy and Behnken dealt with this past Friday.

He is from Atlanta so yes, there maybe some bias with this observation. The reality is that this entertainer is very under-appreciated. A pure talent, tremendous entertainer, and wonderfully philanthropic. Last Wednesday night, ABC replayed the 2017 Kennedy Center Honors. I only caught thirty minutes or so of the broadcast, and fortunately watched Usher honor the one and only James Brown. Usher = amazing.

Usher honoring James Brown at the 2017 Kennedy Center Honors celebration.

I don’t do politics – but what I don’t understand is the correlation to wearing a mask and politics. Use the science as a data point and wear a mask when around others. Some have told me that I look better with one on.

Just and idea – especially for two of my Atlanta-based friends.

Fact: Bears can run more than 37 mph an hour, and they can do it up hills, down hills or along a slope. To put that in perspective that is 50 ft/sec – more than twice as fast as we can run. In fact, a bear can outrun a racehorse over short distances. This NFL player did not get the message.

Don’t run?

Chelsea’s win over Manchester City this past Thursday handed the Premier League title to Liverpool, their first league championship in thirty years. Liverpool is led by their charismatic manager, Jurgen Klopp, who has shown the world that while he is a top 5 leader in the sport, his management skills in no way translate to his ability to dance. Congratulations Liverpool!

Don’t disrespect. Officially called the Saharan Air Layer, many authorities around the world are calling this 3,700 mile-long dust cloud Godzilla. I take offense to this. Godzilla was a hero to many, evoking peace and harmony by destroying many combatants including Mothra and Rodan. People often compare Godzilla with King Kong. While I appreciate the power and sensitivity of Kong, he held no comparison to the size and strength of Godzilla. Godzilla stood 164 feet tall, three times the height of Kong. Don’t name a sand storm after the world’s greatest protagonist. Just don’t. 🙂

Based on that last comment it is apparent that it has been a long week. Adios, pay it forward, be safe, and have a Sunday Funday!

Questions.

Time To Ask Yourself.

I really love when something I am interested in starts off with an assuming statement, which in turn makes the information a lot less interesting: This much we knew: some 66 million years ago an asteroid roughly twice the diameter of Paris crashed into earth, wiping out all land-dwelling dinosaurs and 75 percent of life on the planet. Really, Science Alert magazine, “This much we knew…”?

Is anyone calling Mike Gundy’s bluff?

Has North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un, given the reigns of leadership to his sister, Kim Yo-jong? If so, why?

Image: Kim Yo Jong, right, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, helps Kim sign joint statement following the summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Paekhwawon State Guesthouse in Pyongyang, North Korea
North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Kim Yo-jong

I have never been a big fan of David Luiz and after last Wednesday’s performance, does Arsenal feel the same way?

Responsible for giving up two goals, David Luiz is sent off in the 50th minute of Wednesday’s game.

Is the John Bolton book about reality or an agenda of politics? I don’t do politics so someone chime in.

When is the next time you are going to a movie theater?

Seats will be sanitized between showtimes when theaters reopen, and employees will have to wear masks.
Going to the movies….can it be worse than sitting on an airplane?

Is anyone else confused by the various reports surrounding Covid-19? It has been five months and we are still not getting clear lines of communication from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control. Is there still not enough empirical data to provide solid guidance of the cause and effect?

Do you remember Butch and Sundance? Not the movie starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, but the tandem running backs for the Miami Dolphins of the NFL. They were joined by Mercury Morris in a dynamic backfield that led the Dolphins, coached by Don Shula, to an undefeated season and two consecutive Super Bowl victories. Most people old enough to know remember Morris’ pure speed and Larry Csonka’s bulldozing runs, but it was Jim Kiick who was the go-to running back for the Dolphins. There was no better short-yardage back in the NFL, and quarterback Bob Griese, when needing a first down, often called a play that Kiick executed with a tough run or catching a short pass. Jim Kiick passed away yesterday. A great running back, a great dad, and a man with a helluva personality. RIP Jim Kiick.

THE BLOOD AND THUNDER BOYS - Sports Illustrated Vault | SI.com
Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

From various standpoints, where would Atlanta be without the contributions of Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank?

Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank – the definition of philanthropic.

The Master of the Obvious (M.O.T.O.) headline of the week: Cruise stocks set for another selloff after Carnival’s disappointing results. Wow, did this come from Jim Cramer or another Wall Street pundit?

An iceberg in the shape of a coronavirus cell is blocking the path of a cruise ship.
Is it time to scoop up cruise ship holdings?

The NBA and MLS restarts happen “in the bubble” at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex. How do you feel about college and pro football starting up outside the bubble?

It does not exactly launch you into space but would you pay $125,000 to be in a capsule, tethered to a hydrogen-filled balloon, that takes you 20 miles or approximately 100,000 feet above earth? It looks to be both exciting and tenuous at best – then in the small print they mention that you “land” in the Atlantic Ocean. Let me think about this….. no!

A rendering of the capsule from Space Perspective.

And last but not least, with the ESPY’s being broadcast (virtual) later tonight, is there anyone else who could pull off accepting an award on behalf of Tiger Woods?

The one and only Will Ferrell.

Adios, pay it forward, be safe, and a Happy Father’s Day to all!!

Random Thoughts for Mid-June.

Here’s Ten Things I Think I Think.

What type of training do astronauts go through to handle the G-forces on takeoff and then the 3-4 month living conditions aboard the International Space Station? Thanks, but no thanks.

Live televised sports without spectators are better than no live televised sports.

Master of the obvious (MOTO): Our country cannot shut down again. With that said, are all of us too overconfident with socializing with others – a false sense that the virus has subsided? Last week’s analytics tell me different and Beijing again being locked down this weekend is disturbing.

I think the prospect of a Covid-19 vaccine coming on line is encouraging. The dilemma, and hopefully not the obstacles, are the distribution channels that must be developed to quickly move the vaccine from the production facilities to the ‘point-of-prescription’. Most vaccines are very susceptible to temperature change and most must be kept in very cold environments. This is a massive challenge for the pharmaceutical companies producing the vaccine face as well as their suppliers moving the vaccine around the world. One estimate: it will take eight thousand fully loaded 747’s to move 1 billion doses of the vaccine to designated points around the world. While I realize not everyone will be vaccinated, today’s worldwide population is close to 8 billion. You do the math.

The loading of a 747 Freighter

I like what Major League Soccer is doing with their Orlando-based tournament. A mid-summer tournament where the points count in the standings with the tournament champion qualifying for the CONCACAF Champions League. On the east coast, early morning, night and late night games – yes, I really like what Major League Soccer has done with this restart.

I don’t like that the World Health Organization keeps publicizing conflicting reports of how Covid-19 can or cannot be transmitted from one person to another. Seriously not a good thing right now.

I think I am very fortunate that I played in the midfield and not in goal. Goalkeepers are different and this video may explain why:

No, and no.

I really don’t understand the “de-funding” movement with municipalities across the United States. Moving funds out of police department budgets in a time that dictates an increase in screening of police candidates and ongoing training of police officers does not seem like the right move. Does this weekend’s incident involving Atlanta police officers and Rayshard Brooks lend any credence to de-funding the Atlanta police department? I am probably confused about the objective of the de-funding movement. What is your take?

I think the Atlanta Falcons, though they have improved their team at key positions, could be in for a tough season. It is hard to forget the incredibly slow start they had last year and their first four games this season have them up against Seattle and Chicago at home, and Dallas and Green Bay on the road. Matt Ryan and his offensive line better come out controlling the ball and keeping their opponents’ offense off the field….a 2-2 start would be a win. I have never been a big Matt Ryan fan but his career numbers, other than a few unfortunate interceptions, are outstanding. One friend of mine in Atlanta would adamantly disagree with this assessment but the numbers don’t lie. 🙂

Matt Ryan — Atlanta FalconsPctYdsTDIntSckQBR
Regular Season66.2446626144892.1
Career65.45118632114736994.6
Ryan’s total passing yards place him 12th overall on the NFL’s all-time list. 

As I posted last week, we live in a very complex world. The spread of Covid-19 and the subsequent fallout to this virus has altered the lives of millions. The last five months have turned many things upside down, including small businesses, the everyday lives of millions, and the impaired socio-economics we face, not only in the United States, but worldwide. Protests against stay-at-home orders evolved into protests against the police and governments in general. This past weekend we had another officer-involved incident which resulted in the officer being fired and the unarmed suspect being shot in the back. I am not in a position to pass judgement but what I do know is the “new-normal” is not normal.

Adios, pay it forward, stay safe, and have a nice Sunday.

Use Your Words.

America Is Not An Easy Place.

No, it is not. The protests and unfortunate looting of many major cities across the United States have again stimulated discussion of race, police brutality, and disparities with the socio-economics of America. Like many of us, I was lucky enough not to grow up in a homogenized city and neighborhood. My schools and my teams were a mix of origin, race and religion. That does not make me any better than you or anyone else – my point is that I was socialized with people different than me at an early age. My dad was bias, not with race or religion, but people who were in one word disrespectful. He literally had zero time for people who lacked respect and he associated bigotry and racism with disrespect. The reality is that there are doctors who do not belong in healthcare; there are professors and teachers who do not belong in the world of academics; there are corporate executives who should not be running companies; there are politicians who do not belong in office; there are law enforcement officers who do not belong on a police force. America is not an easy place.

The list below is my top of mind reflection of words and people who have made America what it is today: a country of complex people. Empathy only goes so far. We all need to step up – not to discuss but to solve the problem.

George Floyd. The Tuskegee Airmen. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ku Klux Klan.

Richard Spencer. Colin Kaepernick. The Buffalo Soldiers. Muhammad Ali.

Gandhi. Selma. Colin Powell. Take A Knee. George Wallace. Drew Brees.

NAACP. Overtown. David Duke. Harry Truman’s Executive Order 9981.

Hazel Johnson-Brown. J.B. Stoner. Benjamin Davis, Sr. John Lewis.

36th Infantry of Harlem Hell Fighters. Desmond Tutu. Jesse Helms.

Ebenezer Baptist Church. Liberty City. Jackie Robinson. Harriet Tubman.

Samuel Gravely, Jr. Black Lives Matter. Arthur McDuffie. Dorie Miller.

Prince. Joe Lewis. Ahmaud Arbery. Thurgood Marshall. Jesse Owens.

Texas Western College. Eddie Robinson. Auschwitz. Hidden Figures.

That’s all I want to post this week. It’s my take, what is yours?

Adios, be safe, pay it forward, and have a great week!