Do You Have Answers?

As we approach the eleventh month of 2020, lots of questions come to mind with the Thanksgiving and the December holidays – as well as the start of 2021.

  • Politics, which I have no interest in, takes to the forefront this week with the looming presence of the November 3 Presidential election. Anyone want to venture a guess if we will actually find out the winner of the election anytime around November 3 and into the morning of November 4?
  • When does the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control put their self-serving interests to the side and provide discernible protocols for everyone to help stop the spread of Covid-19? Are we going to face the same information dilemma once vaccines are tested and the data provides a high level of efficacy? As I have mentioned in previous posts, the worldwide distribution of the vaccine may pose just as big of a problem as getting a vaccine accepted by the Food & Drug Administration.
  • After absorbing massive losses this year due to pandemic restrictions, what do college and professional sports teams do to get their fan base back into stadiums and arenas? The same for restaurants, retailers, hotels and airlines?
  • How does the outcome of the election affect the financial markets short and long term?
  • Can the housing sector maintain its growth, support incredibly low interest rates, and provide builders with capital to maintain a level of new housing starts?
  • Does virtual become a standard learning practice or does the pressure from parents needing their kids to be at school (some my say just out of the house) force school administrators to buy up the world’s inventories of plexi-glass?
  • What happens with retail during the holiday shopping season? Are people willing to enter a mall and go to stores? Does Amazon and online retailing take precedent? Will Santa make an appearance at the local mall or holiday festival? A year ago we were worried about the retail sector because it was the retail sector. Now the pandemic has diluted the retail experience even further.
  • To Darren Eales and Carlos Bocanegra: for months I have defended the team’s performance, specifically attributed to the injury to Josef Martinez and the decisions on the player pool. The decision to move Frank de Boer on from his job was necessary so these types of dynamics can cause performance issues on the field. With that said, let me be clear: both of you need to look in the mirror, get those smug smiles off your faces, and quit doing your silly and immature bits on social media. Both of you are accountable for the performance of this team and the team is very poor. Benchmark? Sure, look at what Luis Muzzi has done in Orlando with half the budget you have….he has put together a high-tempo team with a mix of experience and young, eager players. Atlanta United is a shadow of itself and it is not due to Martinez’s injury. The 17’s should be outraged.
  • How many episodes of Forensic Files can one person watch? The series has a massive following on the Headline News channel from CNN. Five minutes into my first episode the other night: in one word, disturbing.
  • Speaking of questions, I have many. The Moody Blues probably said it best with one of their famous singles. Yes, they introduced this song fifty years ago.
Questions, a hit single by The Moody Blues, circa 1970.

Adios, pay if forward, be safe, and have a Funday Sunday!!!

A Fall Classic.

What On Earth Is He Talking About? A Platform Of Aggregation. Steam.

Maybe I self-evaluate my intelligence or lack there of too often. I am very aware of my strengths and weaknesses but I write a blog so I can’t be that much of a dumb ass (no comment please). The reality is that I admire very intelligent people which is interesting as very intelligent people and I are definitely not aligned. I like to challenge myself once in awhile to take in information or content that I am not necessarily interested in or follow (such as high intelligence quota subjects like sports).

Last week, I decided to watch two episodes of Cosmos: Possible Worlds. My first indication that I would be overmatched by this content were the credits that ran before the show opening. It is quite apparent that when I see Carl Sagan in the credits of any documentary, I either need to change the channel or have a biophysicist sitting next to me to give me the cliff notes. If Carl Sagan wasn’t enough, the first person I see on the first episode is none other than the American astrophysicist, cosmologist, and planetary scientist, Neil deGrasse Tyson. Red alert bells go off in my head as I now realize that this programming is going to be a mental shock to my system.

To no surprise, within the first twenty minutes of episode one, Neil deGrasse Tyson, with his smooth delivery and off the charts vocabulary, starts to discuss Cyanobacteria and the Cambrian explosion. Of course my brain starts to melt a bit as he describes Cyanobacteria, which in his words is something along the the lines of a phylum of prokaryotes consisting of both free-living photosynthetic bacteria and the endosymbiotic plastids that are present in the Archaeplastida autotrophic eukaryotes.

I no longer want to communicate with you if that description of Cyanobacteria made any sense to you….or if you even know how to pronounce most of those words. I don’t know how many times during the two episodes I repeated, probably out loud to myself, what the hell (my polite blog word) is he talking about? I did soak up the two episodes and immediately went to the bottle of Woodford Reserve to bring reality and balance back to my self-being. Self deprecating or not, reality does reveal that I am not the sharpest pencil in the stack.

I did read (yes, I do read) a bit about Neil deGrasse Tyson. While it is clear that we are are the opposite sides of the intelligence spectrum, I do like and acknowledge this quote from him: “Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not“.


When I look for a good example of ‘aggregation’ I look to Google News. No, not all the content but the way Google News aggregates and matches up subject matter with news platforms and presents it in a simple, concise way. I want to take this type of aggregation platform and dovetail it with cord-cutting. You read it right, that’s what I want to do. So to my associates and readers who come from the sports/entertainment/technology/finance worlds….you better get ready to help get this idea to fruition quickly. The simple premise: Why should I cut the cord and what choices do I really have, based on the content I consume? How do I make my choices with non-linear and/or linear providers and what will it cost me? How do I pay and when? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?


Blowing of some steam:

  • Yesterday could have started as one of the greatest sports weekends in Atlanta history. The Braves closing out their NLCS series and heading to the World Series and the Georgia Bulldogs beating the second-ranked Crimson Tide. Not.
  • Today, the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United and the Braves have a chance to make the weekend better. The Falcons are in disarray and play away to Minnesota, United plays away to Toronto (in CT as you can’t travel to Canada), and the Braves have another opportunity to make it to a World Series. Any takers?
  • A tale of two cities: Atlanta’s sports teams other than the Braves have had a tough Covid-19 year. In comparison, the Tampa Bay area is on fire. The Lightning wins the Stanley Cup, the Rays make it to the World Series, the Bucs are looking good and run by none other than Tom Brady, and the Rowdies sit atop their division in the USL Championship. It must be the water.
  • To the Braves, manager Brian Snitker, and tonight’s starting pitcher Ian Anderson: do NOT throw one pitch within two feet of the plate to the Dodgers’ Corey Seager. Just don’t.
  • To the Georgia Bulldogs: even with the bad-looking loss last night, there may be a lot to salvage by year-end. Get it together.
  • To UCF: for years you have had a top five offense in the country. Why do you not believe in defense – this has been systemic for years. Yesterday, you score 49 points and lose 50-49? Ridiculous.

Adios, be safe, pay it forward, and have a Funday Sunday!

Eddie & Michael.

A Legend Is Gone – Let Us Not Forget.

Obit Eddie Van Halen
Who Would Have Thought? Eddie Van Halen and Michael Jackson.

For me, music has played a significant role over many years but never more important than now. Sure, during the pandemic lockdown, Netflix and other televised content became a focal point, but listening to music, from classical to rock to reggae, has become a common denominator to maintaining some level of sanity during these crazy times of 2020. I have mentioned my brother in previous posts, who in my opinion, when very young, was way ahead of his time with music content. That small bedroom in our southwest Miami home was always filled with music blasting from his Marantz stereo with speakers that should have been placed in a ballroom, not a 10′ x 12′ bedroom. From Ravi Shankar to Ten Years After to Brothers Johnson, my exposure and enjoyment of different artists and their music has continued to present day.

The guitar has always been my favorite. From the twang of the slide guitar to the driving riffs of rock, there has always been something about the guitar that brings back memories and makes me smile. With the passing last week of guitar legend Eddie Van Halen, I have reflected back to the days of Woodstock, funk, and the legendary late 70’s and 80’s hair bands. Don’t get me wrong, I loved War, Keith Sweat, Michael Jackson and Prince, but rock has been and still is my go-to for most of my listening pleasure.

Speaking of Michael Jackson, all of us remember his massive selling album “Thriller” and the song “Beat It”. Per Michael’s request, famous music industry mogul Quincy Jones made a call to Eddie Van Halen asking him to add a guitar break to “Beat It”, resulting in rock history when Van Halen added 20 scorching seconds to the middle of the song. Due to the ask coming from of all people Quincy Jones, Van Halen worked for free and spent only an hour in studio producing a riff that to this day is legendary. A great quote from Van Halen regarding “Beat It”: After the record’s release, Van Halen would remember shopping in a Tower Records store while “Beat It” was playing on the sound system. “The solo comes on, and I hear these kids in front of me going, ‘Listen to this guy trying to sound like Eddie Van Halen,’” he said. “I tapped him on the shoulder and said, ‘That IS me!’ That was hilarious.”

“Beat It” is still played very often and I always like to challenge my music friends asking them who did the guitar break on the song. Most people never remembered or correlated Eddie Van Halen with Michael Jackson as the song “Beat It’ included one of the greatest riffs of all time. If you don’t want to watch this famous music video move to the 3:10 mark. RIP Eddie Van Halen.

“Beat It” from the album Thriller, and the famous Eddie Van Halen riff.

That is my take on one of the greatest guitarists of all time. For another perspective watch and listen to the enjoyment from this young kid reacting to Eddie and his band Van Halen. Priceless.

Eddie killing it with David Lee Roth.

Adios, pay it forward, stay safe and have a Funday Sunday!!

Popular Vote. Definitely Not NYC. Dark Shadows. Live.

It’s Not Popular. NY’s Hudson Valley Region. It’s Getting Dark In Here. Don’t Mess With Bane. You Are Looking Live….

  • November 3 is election day. Though I have removed myself from all political rhetoric and self-serving hyperbole, I am an American and believe in the political process. So if you are eligible, it is your right to vote. Unfortunately, we may not find out the winner of the presidential election on the night of November 3. That seems a bit sideways as the accounting of the mail-in vote may push the electoral accounting process to the next day…or the next week…..or? What is the electoral college? An American pastime devised to provide ‘equal’ representation from all the states – no matter the population of the 50 states in the union (and the District of Columbia). There are many people who believe or think that the presidential election is a count of the individual or popular vote. Don’t roll your eyes as a few polls completed in the last four months have up to 25% of American adults believing that the popular vote decides the presidential election. Note: refer to late night hosts interviewing ‘people on the street’, asking very simple trivia-type questions about the United States to adults and getting back answers that are mind-boggling. So we are all on the same page: In the electoral college system, each state gets a certain number of electors based on its total number of representatives in Congress. Each elector casts one electoral vote following the general election; there are a total of 538 electoral votes. The candidate that gets more than half (270) wins the election. Clear as mud. As a random sample of our fellow American’s general knowledge take a look at a few minutes of this walkabout with Jay Leno:
Who’s On First?
  • The Hudson Valley region of New York is beautiful this time of year. Amazing that just an hour or so north of New York City, you can find so many small towns, rolling hills, and parks and trails along the Hudson River. The fall color is in full array this time of year which brings tons of people up from the City on most weekends. I stayed in Beacon, a quaint small town along the Hudson, with it’s art galleries, pubs, and historic landmarks. A really great town.
Beacon NY Real Estate, Homes for Sale | Houlihan Lawrence
Just 90 minutes from NYC, along the Hudson River, is Beacon, New York.
  • Halloween may look a bit different at the end of the month due to the issues with Covid-19. Halloween is only three weeks away which in turn tells us that the demise of daylight savings time is upon us. For those counting the days we go very dark on Sunday, November 1. The upside: daylight savings time will be back with us on Sunday, March 14, 2021.
  • The following take was posted back in June but in light of Friday’s hospitalization of the President, it is prudent to post one more time: I don’t do politics – but what I don’t understand is the correlation of 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 Bane reminding people to wear masks. : funny
Even badass Bane wears a face covering.
  • Live televised sports – in one word: thankful. MLB, LPGA, PGA, USTA, WTA, NBA, NWSL, WNBA, NFL, MLS, NHL. To the leagues and tours and their hard working staffs, the players, the coaches, and television networks: whatever and however you were able to make this all happen…..great stuff!

Adios, pay it forward, be safe and have a Funday Sunday.

Numbers On My Mind.

Rikki Don’t Lose That Number.

  • 200,000 – that number was hit last week. Nothing much else to say other than let us have hope for a vaccine.
  • 95 – I never wish to rush my life along but with that said that is the number of days left until the first day of 2021.
  • 2- the number of wins Atlanta United has in their last eleven games. A combination of factors including scheduling, the player pool changes and a key injury…but still disconcerting. The disrespect with Orlando City has come to a dead stop for good reasons.
  • 143 – the combined ages of the United States’ two leading experts who are combating the pandemic. Thankfully.
  • 40 – he is not mentioned as often as Jim Brown, O.J. Simpson, Barry Sanders and Walter Payton, but Gayle Sayers was in a class of his own and many years ahead of his time. RIP #40, Gayle Sayers.
Fast, strong and his ability to cut back against the grain – amazing.
  • 16,000 – the number of restaurants that shut down during the pandemic – and are now closed permanently.
  • 20 – The number of division titles won by the Atlanta Braves.
  • 80 – as in feet and the height of a massive wave a surfer took on off the coast of Portugal. No, no, and no. She is amazing.
…..and I am concerned about driving on Interstate 4…
  • 55 – the miles between Orlando and New Smyrna Beach. A very fun beach town.
  • 13- the number of leading companies doing what they can to get a Covid-19 vaccine developed and approved. Safety and efficacy are part of this equation.
  • 1 – the number of lungs now functioning for Los Angeles Charger quarterback Tyrod Tyler. It seems the team doctor, in an effort to provide Tyler with a pain killer in the rib area, accidently punctured a lung. Say what?
  • 420 – maybe we should celebrate that day every day?
  • 7 – In the Old Testament the world was created in six days and God rested on the seventh, creating the basis of the seven-day-week…. and Sunday Funday.
  • 0 – Numbers can be statistically significant and there is no more important number right now than “Down To Zero” – a great piece from an artist my brother turned me onto a long time ago. Let’s get Covid-19 down to zero.
Three-time Grammy nominated Joan Armatrading.

In a world of some negative vibes, here is a feel-good story that has nothing to do with numbers…except one six-year old child with autism who went missing in the woods behind his home in London, Ontario. The combination of ground forces with night vision goggles and a helicopter equipped with both heat seeking and laser technology was able to locate the child. This is a bit of shining light in the world of the weird right now. Kudos to all law enforcement involved with bringing this child back to his family.

In one word: FANTASTIC!!

Adios, pay it forward, stay safe and have a Sunday Funday!!

Rise Up.

Random Thoughts As We Head Into Fall.

The Fall thankfully means both types of football, cooler weather, and unfortunately the slow demise of daylight savings time. In a time that is challenging for all of us, this time of year will provide a better outlook from a number of perspectives. While many are predicting another massive wave of Covid-19, the production and distribution of a vaccine will eventually stem the clear and present danger.

No one could have ever thought that the issues related to Covid-19 would remain in the pandemic stage into mid-September. I hope that someone with way more smarts than me can explain to all of us how the vaccine will be distributed worldwide. A supply chain quandary for sure. Take the time to read the article below – creating the amount of vaccine necessary to inoculate the world’s population is a monumental effort, but the distribution of the vaccine may be more problematic than we can ever imagine. I am staying positive that the Covid-19 vaccine will be fully developed and approved very soon but reading this article prompts many questions. .

Mr. Arthur Blank, who has provided the funding and governance of his two professional sports teams, deserves better. While many teams are using 2020 as a year to retrench and pivot, being marginal as a team in Atlanta, with its fickle fan base, has never been a positive path forward. Last night, at the stadium Mr. Blank built, his Atlanta United team lost to Inter Miami. Only one win in its last ten games for United and the Atlanta Falcons play at Dallas later today. Let’s hope the Falcons can somehow pull off a win at the stadium Jerry Jones built.

You have to feel for everyone affected by Hurricane Sally. Hundreds of millions of dollars in damage, loss of life, and the loss of homes and businesses. In the middle of a pandemic. The Red Cross does great work – all of us should consider donating a few dollars to help everyone out. Make a difference in the lives of people impacted by Hurricane Sally by visiting, calling 800-RED-CROSS or texting the word HURRICANES to 90999 to make a $10 donation. The situation in California with the devastating wildfires is different but certainly dire straits. Thousands of acres of land, forests, and personal property wiped out by what seems like the never-end fires – with thousands of first responders fighting every day to extinguish this disaster of massive proportion.

In my continuing effort to stop people from invading the space of wild animals, again we witness humans being humans. This western Massachusetts homestead was obviously built in bear country, minimizing the amount of forest black bears need to roam and hunt for food. The owner had the nerve to fall asleep at his backyard pool preventing this black bear from having a private swim. The bear, as polite as the come, lightly taps on the man’s foot hoping to wake him so he will go inside.

“Get out of my lounge chair”

Forget the political stance for one second. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg put up a monumental fight against cancer but passed away on Friday at the age of 87. I like people, especially women, who fight for what they think is right, who are tough as nails, and of course have a great deal of sass. Justice Ginsburg was the definition of tough and backed down to no one. Though small in stature, she had a commanding presence and demanded respect. I really like her quotes at the end of this short video. RIP Justice Ginsburg.

Previous posts have mentioned the Fall and the north Georgia mountains. Whether a day trip or a nice long weekend, visit the town of Blue Ridge. Good hiking, a fun town, and plenty of great cabins to enjoy.

Adios, pay if forward, stay safe, and have a Funday Sunday.


Wait, What?

Fitness and nutrition information can be really puzzling. Hundreds of companies, some small and some getting very big, very fast, have latched onto the world of nutrition and fitness with programs, apps, diets, and meal programs. My son-in-law is with Noom, an award-winning weight-loss program designed by psychologists and scientifically proven to create real, sustainable results. Noom is growing fast, with a remarkable app that you can use to manage everything from food intake to daily fitness regimes. There are many more programs and apps, including Weight Watchers reinventing itself to become more relevant to different demographics.

Noom Coach
The Noom app has a tremendous amount of information.

While we have all the information at our fingertips, I am constantly reminded by fitness trainers, doctors, friends, and enemies that all things food are not equal. I heed all warnings about foods I eat, then ultimately get frustrated that everything I am eating is terrible for me, and usually succumb to a meal or three that really are not the best choices…..with a huge smile on my face. I can always rationalize that I have cut back on some things so usually I feel great about my nutrition (not).

I decided to do my own research on a number of things I have been told lately. In no particular order:

Eat more bananas, they are good for you. Reality: Although the sugars are natural, bananas will give a quick sugar boost, resulting in a crash around mid-morning. This will make you feel more tired and more hungry, and the banana will have done more harm than good. Take me for example. Very early in the morning, I was eating ‘healthy’ yogurt with blueberries, nuts, and a banana. What I did not realize is though the yogurt was relatively low in calories and carbohydrates, the sugar content (their are TWO lines of sugar on each container) was way too high. Blended with the very high sugar content in bananas and blueberries, I was eating almost twice the daily allowance of sugar before 8am. NOT good.

Drink more green smoothies, they are good for you. Same as above – you better watch the amount of sugar in the ingredients of that protein smoothie or shake. I guess you just go with spinach, carrots, almond milk, and just a few strawberries. Leave the honey, banana, and chocolate syrup alone.

Protein bars. This one haunts me to no end. I was a huge protein bar consumer, thinking of these as “nutritional” and healthy. Reality: Protein can be a great way to fuel muscle, but most protein bars are hardly health food. Between belly-bloating soy, sodium, artificial colors, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup, most protein bars are potential saboteurs to your well-being. Those sugar-free or low-carb protein bars are no better. Research published in the Yale Journal of Medicine links the artificial sweeteners used to flavor many low-sugar foods to an increased risk for weight gain and sugar cravings.

Coconut water. I live in sub-Sahara Africa, also referred to as Orlando, Florida, so keeping hydrated is incredibly important when being outside at anytime of the day. Unless I am in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, a non-alligator lake, or pool, I am constantly trying to down as much fluid as possible. This includes coconut water, which I was told was incredibly good for you and helped with preventing dehydration. Then I find this: A single cup of coconut water packs 15 grams of sugar. While it’s better to sip on coconut water than other sugary drinks, many doctors agree that coconut water should be used in great moderation. So, back to full-time water consumption.

Margarine, not butter. I can hear a friend from Alpharetta, Georgia yelling at me from afar. For many years, I was told to use margarine, not butter. Reality: I won’t go into the finite details, but margarine is no bueno. Recommending trans fat-laden margarine instead of natural butter may be considered some of the worst nutrition advice in history. Parkay this.

Diets. Weight Watchers, Noom, South Beach, low carb, high fiber, Mediterranean, anti-inflammatory, intermittent fasting……talk about mixed messages, the list goes on and on.

I could go on forever. My regular doc, who is disturbingly quiet but a very serious physician, has relatively demanded that all patients follow an anti-inflammatory ‘diet’, purchasing “80% of food in the vegetable/fruit section” of the grocery store. He asked me to research the longevity of Asians as well as the people located in the Mediterranean regions to learn about their food habits and diet.

Per my physician’s suggestion, I searched for Mediterranean diets one night, feel asleep after the second sentence that referred to high fiber, kale, cabbage, squid, nuts, tzatziki sauce and sorbet, and woke up the next morning to a bowl of Captain Crunch and chocolate milk. Stay healthy my friends.

Adios, pay it forward, stay safe, and have a Funday Sunday!

Let’s Go With Some Levity.

We Are Going To Keep It On the Lighter Side This Week.

Design, creativity, the arts, and especially music. The majority of my business life has been in the experiential marketing space. You can call it what you want, such as the world of branded or presence marketing, but in essence my existence in the business world has always relied on creativity. On the music side of things, I have explained that my late brother and neighborhood friends were my inspiration for the variety of music I enjoy. As I have mentioned, my brother’s menu of music was pre-hairband rock, but my neighborhood friends always listened to funk, soul, and Top 40. I remember my parents, much to my wonderment, attended the opera a few times as my father was a huge fan of Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli. At one time or another I have heard these two perform and though my appreciation for their music is limited, I do recognize that they are amazing. So as I think back, and recognizing the talent of these two tenors, I wish I could have been in attendance to listen to someone I really enjoyed, The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Talking about an amazing performance….I have no idea what type of talent you must have to pull this off:

The Queen of Soul… the right place at the right time.

I have pointed out my disdain for people who do not respect wild animals and feel it is their right to get into the animal’s space or surroundings. I have posted about people taking photos too close to wild animals, but this video made my day. Just two brothers from Karachi taking a car ride. Some of the comments on the video below are priceless:

  1. “The day you stop uploading…we know why.”
  2. “Imagine some thief trying to rob their house.”
  3. “Bet they do not have to lock their doors at night.”
  4. “Uber stepping up their security I see.”
When you don’t want dogs anymore 😂

The “17’s” are upset. The “17’s”, the supporters of Atlanta United, have torched social media channels voicing their displeasure with the manager and the players. My say: while frustrating and sometimes a bit difficult to watch, you would have to be short sighted to think that with the roster changes, the move to an interim manager, and Josef Martinez’s season-ending injury, the team could duplicate 2018 and 2019. Does Atlanta miss Parkhurst, Nagbe, Meram, Gressel, Villalba and Pirez? Yes, absolutely but the sale of Pity Martinez and the pending sale of Ezequiel Barco opens up an opportunity for the team to pickup a dynamic and dominate attacking midfielder. It will happen and the results will slowly start to get people smiling again. Last night’s comeback against Orlando – hopefully a good sign for Atlanta United.

Chadwick Boseman passed away after a long fight with colon cancer. Best known for his starring role in Black Panther, his long list of roles in some very good movies is amazing. By chance, I had the fun opportunity to watch him in the biopic Get Up, a very good look at the life of James Brown. Boseman was fantastic and also showed his tremendous talent with leading roles in 42 and Thurgood. RIP Chadwick Boseman.

Chadwick Boseman portraying James Brown.

Best “to the point” headline I have read since the start of Covid-19: I REALLY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE.

Labor Day is tomorrow. Celebrated on the first Monday of September, Labor Day is designated to pay tribute to the achievements of American workers. Of all years to recognize Labor Day, it would be the world of the strange 2020. A special tribute to all healthcare workers and first responders. Please everyone, fly your flag.

Flag of the United States of America | Britannica

Adios, pay it forward, be safe and have a great Labor Day weekend.


Step Forward, Rise Up, Always Remember.

I started this blog four years ago – a challenge for me to 1) create a website and 2) write a blog on top of mind things I think….without the inference of politics or religion. This is the 185th post which has a focus of inspiration and remembrance. Whether good, bad, or ugly I really do appreciate everyone’s support and comments.

I always look for inspiration through the business world or sports. This take may be a bit bias due to my Miami roots, but this story about Eddie Alvarez is all about inspiration. A kid growing up in Miami, the son of Cuban immigrants, who as a young boy put on inline skating shows on the sidewalks of Ocean Drive. As he states, a random woman approached his parents and suggested that Eddie use his inline skating abilities on the ice as a speed skater. Much to the chagrin of his older brother, a youth league baseball star who went on to play professional baseball, Eddie pursued speed skating and put baseball on hold. The cliff notes: Eddie, the kid from Miami, went on to win a silver medal in speed skating at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games….and then, at the ripe old age of 30, was called up to the major leagues and made his first start with the Miami Marlins a few weeks ago. A kid from Miami, who turns inline skating into speed skating, and after earning an Olympic medal, rekindles his passion for baseball to the extent that he makes the major leagues. Don’t tell me you “can’t do it”. Note: the full segment about Eddie Alvarez can be seen on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

Eddie Alvarez – from Olympic medalist to major league baseball player.

I have heard many motivational speakers. Some were renowned for their spit and fire, some followed the path of speaking in “business tongue” to the point of ad nauseam. Don’t get me wrong, ALL OF US need motivation. All of us need to be inspired. For me, this 3-minute video says more to me than the majority of speakers I have heard combined. Remember, it is just my take.

A lot said in three minutes………

Do not fret Tom, Ben, Doug, Brendan, Mark, Mario, Dave, Guy, Aaron and all the rest of my golf buddies. In our minds, we are all excellent golfers who strike the ball well and are excellent around the green. We have perfect swings, tremendous poise, and manage the course so very well. We rarely lose our tempers, are so cordial to each other, and never get easily distracted. So don’t let the video below influence your decision to just give up the most frustrating sport on earth. Don’t.

There is no telling what the heck I was doing at four years old.

Leslie and I knew each other for a long time. Though mutual friends and the tennis club were our only common threads, we always got along well, shared great stories and had many laughs. I did not laugh when she showed up thirty minutes late for a Saturday morning mixed doubles match, on a hot June morning, without water, a towel, or her tennis racket, but that is who Leslie was and she was proud of it. Fun-loving, genuine, and so sweet we admiringly called her ‘sweet tea’. Sadly, Covid-19 took her life after a six-week battle. She was something else in many great ways. RIP Leslie Bryant.

Leslie’s smile said it all.

The cause and effect of Covid-19 really hits home when you lose a family member or friend. Leslie put up a tough fight and battled to beat this virus – which makes the quote below more than relevant:

“None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an afterthought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.” Sir Anthony Hopkins

Adios, pay if forward, be safe and always remember.

The Future of Sports Journalism?

We discover every day how the onslaught of Covid-19 has created the new “not normal”. Almost all business entities and professions have had to alter the way they provide goods and services. Last week a guest was nice enough to offer up his perspective on issues with the pandemic and college football. This week I am thankful that Doug stepped up to provide an insightful perspective with his profession and how the pandemic has changed the way he works. While I we be back with my random takes next week, I do think it is important to understand the challenges we all face until a vaccine is in play.

Hi, my name is Doug Roberson. I’ve known Gary for a long time. He and my dad played soccer together in Atlanta. Little did either of us know then, but 30-plus years later he would graciously host me a few times at his wonderful condo in downtown Orlando when I was in town for business.

I am a sports journalist. I cover Atlanta United. I’ve traveled everywhere from Costa Rica to Vancouver to Montreal. Because of COVID-19, I’m not sure if I’ll ever travel again. It’s not because of the risk of catching the virus. It’s because of the sea-change that COVID-19 has brought to my segment of news gathering and reporting.

Instead of face-to-face interviews before or after training sessions and games, we talk by Zoom. Instead of watching games in person, I watch them from our living room in Carrollton, Ga. on our 70-inch TV. It’s a very odd experience. I have always been proud of the paper’s ethical and financial decision to have boots on the ground when we cover teams. It’s expensive but hopefully the coverage merits the expenditure. Before COVID-19, I was one of perhaps no more than five Major League Soccer reporters in the entire country who traveled and covered games home and away. I joke I’ve watched more games live than any other Atlanta United employee. When you are at venues live, you typically are able to provide better coverage. You can see things that the TV cameras aren’t focusing on. You can ask a player something as they are leaving or standing around that won’t be possible through a single-lens medium. I don’t know if we will get that chance any more.

Some professional teams and colleges value media coverage. Some used to, grew frustrated and don’t. Some never have and never will. I can easily see owners of professional teams or college athletic directors taking a look at their stadiums and asking themselves, “Why do we need that press box when everything can be done by Zoom? Let’s turn that valuable space into suites and make some money.” If I were an owner or athletic director, I know I would consider the possibility of at least shrinking the size of my press areas. If I were a sports editor or publisher, particularly at a smaller paper, I know I would at least consider asking if Zoom is the future.

I hope that a vaccine is soon developed and that we can all return to what our lives were six months ago. I do miss the travel. I miss exploring. I miss meeting new people in press boxes. I miss trying new food at different restaurants and seeing cathedrals. The driving back and forth to the training center and airport…I don’t miss that but would give anything to do it again.

Adios, pay it forward, stay safe, and have a Sunday Funday!