Most of last year seemed to be a blur. Dealing with all the dynamics and ramifications of the pandemic distracted many of us from the usual milestones of the calendar year. Starting last March, the significance of annual events and holidays took to the backburner as we dealt with Covid-19 and sheltering in place. Though it will take some time for most of us to be vaccinated, it is time to look forward to the next few months:
- Later today – three more NFL playoff games.
- Tomorrow night, January 11 – the college football championship game between Ohio State and Alabama at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.
- January 18 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It is the year’s first Federal holiday and among other events, the Atlanta Hawks play their annual MLK Day game at 2:30pm at State Farm Arena.
- January 20 – Inauguration Day. The celebration of a new or incumbent President of the United States happens once every four years. It occurs in the year after presidential elections have been held. Who knows how this inauguration will unfold?
- January 25 – Atlanta United reports to training camp. Significant as they begin the 2021 campaign with a new manager and the rehiring of Paul McDonough, who was an instrumental part of the organization in the run up to the 2018 MLS championship. The League’s start date is still not determined.
- February 1 – the first day of Black History month. Think Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr.
- February 2 – Groundhog Day. I am not embarrassed to tell you I have no idea what this is all about – other than remembering a mundane movie starring Bill Murray.
- February 7 – Super Bowl LV (Richie, that is 55). The game takes place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
- February 14 – Valentine’s Day. Roses, chocolate, lots of smiles and hopefully no broken hearts.
- February 15 – President’s Day, originally honoring Washington’s birthday, is the second Federal holiday of the year.
- March 14. One of the best Sunday’s of the year as daylight savings time returns.
- March 17. St. Patrick’s Day. Covid-19 shut down most festivities celebrating one of Ireland’s patron saints (and obviously morphed into celebrating Irish-American culture). We look forward to the days where rivers once again turn green and Chicago, New York, and Savannah all go a bit crazy with their parades. Also, let’s not forget the return of the St. Patrick’s Day party JP puts together – hopefully to return in 2022.
- March 28 – Passover begins. If you have not been to a Passover dinner (Seder), go! The storytelling of the emancipation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery (Charlton Heston in the The Ten Commandments) is engaging and includes the consumption of wine at certain points throughout the dinner. Wine consumption is variable depending on the participants.
- April 2-4 – Good Friday and Easter weekend. We could all use an Easter egg hunt and all the festivities surrounding Easter weekend.
- April 5-11 – The Masters in Augusta, Georgia. This time around we do get to see the azaleas in full bloom.
- April 13 – Ramadan. It is a month of fasting, prayer, giving and self-evaluation observed by Muslims around the world.
- April 15 – Tax Day. Enough said.
- April 22 – Earth Day. The day was born out of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California and carried forward today by the Earth Day Network. Earth day was created to help bring awareness and support for environmental protection around the world.
I am sure I missed some holidays/events. The bottom line is that these four months may feel similar to 2020 – but at least we have the vaccine on the horizon. Hopefully, after the end of April, we will all know when we can finally get that vaccine into our arms.
I feel fortunate that I was raised in a family that followed sports. Though I focused on soccer from a playing perspective (Bret/Bob, no comment please), my passion for competitive sports started early on, influenced by my parents and my brother. In previous posts I discussed Don Shula, who led the Miami Dolphins to an undefeated season and two Super Bowl wins, but I was always amazed by a baseball manager who brought us passion, competitiveness, and the will to win. He managed the Los Angeles Dodgers for 20 seasons from 1976-1996. Over this time, he amassed 1,599 career wins, which ranks 20th all-time. In addition to his two World Series titles, he was also named the National League (NL) Manager of the Year twice in his career, first in 1983 and again in 1988. He also managed the National League in four All-Star Games following each of his NL pennant wins. I loved watching Tommy Lasorda manage his teams. I enjoyed and was amazed at his antics when arguing with the umpiring crew. Tommy Lasorda passed away Friday and in my mind he was one of the greatest. RIP Tommy Lasorda.
This video is rated XXX for language. Do not let your children listen. I post this because you get to hear his unbelievable passion and exasperation with the media. This was a famous interview with Lasorda after being accused of ordering one of his pitchers to throw at a batter. Can you imagine, in this day and time, a coach or manager saying this in front of the media? There was only one Tommy Lasorda.
And finally….I leave you on this second Sunday of 2021 with a photo you can use when someone asks how to describe 2020: