Whale of a tale (sorry)

Because humans are the arrogant pieces of excrement that they are, I bet you anything a massive campaign begins to hunt down and kill the scourge and rid the world of the evil beasts known as grey whales.

Story here.

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Super Bowl Exlix musings

So the Super Bowl was last night. Two teams about which I could not possibly care less playing for a ridiculous amount of money. (Don’t get me started on the NFL’s status as a [exaggerated air quotes] “not for profit” company.) Anyway, here are some thoughts on last night’s ridiculous spectacle:

-Three hours before kickoff, NBC was running some ridiculous piece about ex-NFL players riding shotgun with NASCAR drivers. Here is an idea: instead of starting the “pregame show” nine hours before kickoff, forcing you to run out of Super Bowly things to discuss and to air completely inane fluff pieces that have nothing to do with the game, how about you just start your pregame show one, maybe two hours pre-kickoff, talk about the matchups, and be done with it? Only the diehard meathead football fans give enough of a crap to watch an all-day pregame show. Oh- and good lawd, TV sports guys, enough with the “Deflategate” thing. That was nothing more than an excuse to say “Tom Brady’s balls” on the air for two weeks without fear of being fined by the FCC.

-While her version was by far not the worst, Idina Menzel failed, like so many before her did (and, undoubtedly, like so many after her will), at singing the National Anthem. It’s a hard song to sing, but if you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all. Learn the words. Sing it in your range. It was written in 3/4 time; SING IT in 3/4 time. Keep it under about 2:30. And for the love of all things holy, knock off the vocal gymnastics, histrionics, and overdone fake vibrato, and trying to make it your own song. It’s NOT your own song. Sing it right or don’t fucking sing it at all. Oh- and if you’re going to further disrespect the National Anthem by lip-syncing it, at least make it convincing.

*bracing for all the “‘Let It Go’, John HAHAHAHA” comments*

-Memo to Bob Costas: That massive case of pinkeye you got last year in Sochi never really went away, did it? Or is that permanent damage?

-Unless one knows nothing about the game of ‘Merkan football, we all know by now that Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll made perhaps the worst play call in Super Bowl history by attempting a short pass [that was intercepted at the goal line, naturally] instead of letting Marshawn Lynch bulldoze the New England D-line and punch the ball in for what should have been the game-winning touchdown. Hence, the Patriots won, causing a simultaneous orgasm among every sportswriter, commentator, and talking head in the country, all of whom seem to be 100 times more smitten with Tom Brady than any woman ever could be. He got MVP, natch, thus “cementing his spot in the Hall of Fame”, as I heard one guy say. Really? I can’t stand Tom Brady, but was his HoF status EVER in doubt? Has it EVER been? I know those guys’ main job- besides speaking in nothing but stupid clichés, metaphors, and catchphrases- is to create things that they can turn around and beat mercilessly into the ground, but come on.

-The halftime show was largely awful, as most are. The Katy Perry wardrobe malfunction for which I was secretly hoping never happened. She rode some giant tiger (that looked more like a lion or a bear than a tiger) during “Roar”, boogalooed with sharks in some weird live-action cartoon thing, cavorted briefly with Lenny Kravitz (whom, I imagine, immediately regretted signing the contract to appear- I would have, were I he), and then was completely upstaged and outclassed by Missy Elliott. Finally, she was George Jetsoned on a cable in a giant circle about 20-25 feet off the field. With the exception of Bruno Mars’ show last year, the halftime shows have been brutal to watch for years. I’d much rather see actual marching bands.

And now, the commercials. Those stupidly overpriced, overhyped, and underdelivering 30-second insults to the viewers’ collective intelligence. As they have been for several years now, this year’s ads just didn’t have the oomph that they used to have.

  • Budweiser. Of course, the Best Attempt at Pulling At Your Heart Strings award goes to Budweiser (AAAAA-gain), for their diabetes-inducing ad about the lost puppy. Yawn.
  • McDonald’s. This “Give Lovin’, Get Lovin'” ad about randomly selecting customers to pay for their orders by telling their mother they love her meant well, I believe, but as we debated at my folks’ house, what about people who have lost their mother? People who are estranged from their family? People whose mother is in prison? I imagine that is not the only way Mickie Deez will try to get people to be happy and all (or whatever it is they are going for), but that just seems like a lot of potential for problems at the ol’ Golden Arches.
  • Snickers. Not sure I get the appeal of Danny Trejo. The ad was entertaining enough, but the campaign has kinda run its course. The one from a couple years ago, with Betty White and Abe Vigoda, will never be topped. And yet they keep trying. Kinda like those goddamned GEICO commercials that never seem to friggin’ stop ever. EVER. Thankfully, GEICO ads were pretty much invisible during the game. Although… #gitsomecoldcutsgitsomecoldcutsgitsomecoldcuts
  • Fiat. The “little blue pill” ad had all sorts of potential as far as where they could have gone with who or what wound up getting the LBP, instead, they kinda pussed out. I mean, seriously… oooooh, the Fiat’s bigger now. It has four doors now. It’s still a little bitty-ass Fiat that seats less than two comfortably.
  • BMW. Always nice to look at Katie Couric, but Bryant Gumbel looked like a fairly lifelike animatronic wax replica of himself. I kinda tee-heed watching the 1994 Today clip in which Katie & Bryant were, seemingly, legitimately completely baffled by how to “pronounce” the @ in an email address. “Do you write to it like a letter?!” Ah, the pre-internet innocence. I do, however, like just about any ad in which people can make fun of themselves. Especially when it is deserving.
  • Nationwide. Definitely a dark ad. But life is not all sunshiny happy and what not. Many children die in very preventable ways every year. Nationwide pointed that out and it bothered people. We basically were playing it off when we saw the kid crushed by the flat-screen TV. We were all, “Hey, I can make another kid, but TVs are expensive! Thanks, Nationwide!!” Okay, ’twas *I* who said that, but still. Sick, I know, but it’s a sick world in which we live. Stop pretending it isn’t. Nationwide’s other ad, with Mindy Kaling stalking Matt Damon, kinda fell flat.
  • Bud Light. Shitty beer, but the real-life Pac-Man game looked pretty friggin’ awesome. I hope it actually exists somewhere. I’d totally do that, even if the prize is nothing more than a bottle of Bud Light. I’m sure I could find someone to whom to sell it.
  • T-Mobile. The Kim Kardashian ad was pretty lame if only because it contained Kim Kardashian, but the Chelsea Handler-Sarah Silverman ad was pretty good. I adore both of them. (Speaking of the Kardashians, my mother asked everyone’s thoughts about Bruce Jenner. I said that people need to leave him the hell alone and let him do what makes him happy. Don’t judge; you don’t know what kinds of horrors he has endured. After all, I said, if I were a part of that fucked-up family for that long, I’d want to rid myself of everything about that part of my life as well. And that could well even include my penis. Seriously, people- get off Bruce Jenner’s case. You do you, let him do him.)
  • The Terminator Genisys movie. Oh, Arnold. Just stop. Seriously. All of these movie franchises with their stars in their 60s and 70s… just stop it.
  • Game of War. For the love of Chrysler… between the television ads and the between-game ads on the Trivia Crack smartphone app, someone PLEASE get rid of Kate Upton and the ads for this ridiculous app. Unless you’re going to let her be naked, as she apparently wants to be, I am sick of seeing Kate Upton. Outside of those ads, I don’t even know who she is and I hate being forced to see her every six minutes.
  • Skittles. The ad about the town that “settles it™” by arm-wrestling was kinda cute, I must admit. Especially with the baby (and the dog) with the one big, buff arm.
  • Avocados from Mexico. The “first-ever draft” ad could have been decent, but it wasn’t. Then it got a tad bit racist at the end with the singer with the obviously fake Spanish accent singing, “Ahhvocahhdos from Mexeeeco”.
  • Nissan. Their ads were kinda out there. The one about the deadbeat dad that is always off racing and then finally- FINALLY- comes home to see his kid once he finally- FINALLY- wins a race? Wow. The one about the plastic ball prank, I had seen that online a week or so ago. Cute idea, but I know that if I did that, my wife would have kicked my ass if for no other reason than for spending that much money on millions of ball-pit balls.
  • E-surance. I guess you had to have watched ‘Breaking Bad’ to appreciate the Bryan Cranston spot.
  • GoDaddy. Their ad with the guy working during the game was largely forgettable. Which is to say, I don’t really remember it. My thing with GoDaddy was their original ad. Not because it ripped off Budweiser’s “lost puppy” ad, not because it was “so tasteless and offensive” (which it wasn’t), as the public outcry screamed when the ad was put on the internet a couple weeks before the game, but because GoDaddy pulled it after said backlash. If you’re going to take the time to create, shoot, and produce a potentially offensive ad, then stand by it. If you’re purposely going for “edgy” and “cutting-edge controversial”, as GoDaddy CLEARLY was by making the lost puppy ad, then be “edgy” and “cutting-edge controversial” and stand by it. Don’t make the attempt and then be a pussy because someone complained. GoDaddy didn’t pull the very adolescent, sexually suggestive ads a few years ago with Danica Patrick, Jillian Michaels, and Candice Michelle after so many people bitched about them; why pull the inferred puppy-mill ad?
  • Jeep. Anyone else find it… I dunno, weird… that Jeep was using a remake of Arlo Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land”?
  • SquareSpace. I don’t even know what SquareSpace is. It just was kinda comical- if not a bit creepy- seeing Jeff Bridges do the Gregorian monk-like chanting next to someone’s bedside with the little music bowl.
  • Always. This “throw like a girl” ad was a viral pro-feminism, pro-gender equality internet video last summer (if not before), and now it’s a maxi-pad commercial. Just think on that for a while.

I could go on (and on and on and on and on) about the rest of the commercials, but these were the ones that stood out and/or that I remember. If you don’t remember the commercials I listed, or if you just want to watch every single friggin’ SB XLIX (which I pronounce “exlix” just because) commercial, then click this link.

So what say you? Which ads did you like? Which ads did you not like? What else about the 27-hour SB Exlix extravanganza did you like/dislike/notice/not notice?

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RIP Oscar Taveras 1992-2014

As with many members of Cardinal Nation (ugh, how I hate that term), I was shocked last night to hear of the tragic passing of the Cardinals’ very promising young prospect, Oscar Taveras, and his girlfriend, Edilia Arvelo. They were tragically killed in a car crash in Taveras’ home country of the Dominican Republic. My brother Jeff texted me the news last night during the Royals-Giants game.

I don’t typically get all that shaken up when celebrities, athletes, etc., pass away- save for a very select few. A lot of it could be due to the detachment. I don’t know any celebrities and, for the most part, their deaths, while tragic, really don’t affect me or my life that much. However, hearing of Taveras’ death really kind of affected me. I didn’t break down or anything like that, but I actually felt a strange sense of loss over two kids I’d never met, nor would I realistically have ever met. I can’t explain it. My heart legitimately hurt last night.

I think what got me more than anything else is not just that a young athlete was taken before he could realize his potential in his sport, but more the realization that this young man was 22 when he died, only 10 days older than my oldest niece, Erin. Miss Arvelo was only 18. Kids, those two. Babies. Whatever the cause of death, there are simply far too many young people dying these days. Maybe I’m just getting old and soft, but I’m so, SOOOO friggin’ over children and young people dying or being killed.

What also bothered me was that I saw a tweet from some dickhead Brewers fan on Twitter last night that said something along the lines of, “HAHAHAHA, Oscar Taveras is DEAD! SUCK IT, Cardinals fans!” Yes, all teams in all sports have their share of douchenozzle fans- even the BFiBs- but I was really extraordinaly angered by the absolute cold, callous, heartless nature of this man that tweeted such a thing. Also, I was listening to the game in the car on the way home from dropping Jeff off at home, and when they announced it (or put it on the Jumbotron™, whichever happened) at AT&T Park last night, I could have sworn I heard a handful of fans actually cheering. I do really hope it was just an unfortunate coincidence, bad timing, or whatever, but I was disgusted at what I heard, and then I read that tweet from the Brewers fan, and I just was pissed the entire rest of the night.

The Cardinals lost in the NLCS to the Giants, who are playing the Royals in the World Series. Much of my extended family live in NoCal, and are, naturally, huge Giants fans. So even though there is still that bitter sting of losing to the Giants- THE FRIGGIN’ GIANTS! (long story, long history)- I wouldn’t mind the Giants winning the Series, if only for the enjoyment of my family. That said, I’m also rooting for the Royals to win. The National League has been represented by either the Cardinals or the Giants every year since 2010, while the Royals haven’t been to the World Series since 1985. As fate holds, the Royals beat the Cardinals in the 1985 World Series, so I think I actually hope both teams win and I hope both teams lose.

At any rate, it could just be little more than sour grapes from the Cardinals not being in it, but the outcome of this year’s World Series suddenly doesn’t seem very “important” any more. I put that word in quotations because the winner of ANY game or sporting event is not important in the least, in the grand scheme of life. It really is JUST A GAME.

It’s a game I love so dearly.

Rest in peace, Oscar and Edilia.

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Filed under baseball, perspective, tribute

Friday 5: Wisdom

So I thought I’d blow the dust off of this blog (again) with a little ditty called Friday 5. There is a blog that asks five questions every Friday (hence, the name), and the questions are related by a common theme. Sometimes the link is barely there. This week’s questions are about wisdom.

Wisdom is defined by Dictionary.com as the knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight. I think it’s simpler to define wisdom as life’s lessons taught by living. Regardless, here are my answers to questions about wisdom.

  1. Some people say you should never mix business with friendship. What experience have you had that would either refute or confirm this wisdom? For the most part, I would agree with this statement. I’ve seen too many times friends go into a business venture together. Then, by the time the smoke clears and the dust settles, either the business fails, or one friend feels left out or slighted, while the other feels like they’ve done all the work and taken all the risks. Whatever the case, they are no longer friends. That said, one of my neighbors and good friends is my boss, and after a year, we have had a good working relationship. *knocks on wood* Every situation is different, of course, but largely, I would say that it’s not a good idea to mix business with friendship.
  2. Some people say you should never let ‘em see you sweat. What experience have you had that would either refute or confirm this wisdom? It makes a good tagline for a deodorant commercial. Again, I think it depends on the situation. To some degree (get it? Cuz Degree is a deodorant!!… um… sorry), “letting ’em see you sweat” is a no-no, because it tends to project you as vulnerable and/or unsure of yourself. However, depending on one’s level of resolve (or moxie, if you will), letting ’em see you sweat can make you look that much stronger when you prevail. Do I think you “should” let people “see you sweat”? Probably not. But is it the horrible thing this adage claims it to be? Not necessarily. 
  3. It is often said that you should never put off ’til tomorrow what you can do today. What experience have you had that would either refute or confirm this wisdom? I dunno… ask me about tomorrow. (Like you didn’t see that answer coming.) Yet again, it depends on the situation. There are situations in which time is most decidedly of the essence, so quick action is necessary. Then, there are times in which discretion is more prudent. People tend to consider procrastination to be a bad thing, but I don’t necessarily 100% believe that.
  4. It is often said that you should never get romantically involved with someone at work (there’s a cruder way of putting it, but I’m declining to use that selection of words). What experience have you had that would either refute or confirm this wisdom? I am totally the wrong one to ask about this. I will use the cruder way of putting it, because people pretty much expect that from me nowadays… when I worked for Hills back in the mid-to-late 80s, I dipped my pen in the company ink (in the boss’s inkwell, no less), and wound up marrying her. Draw your own conclusion from that, as we divorced about two and a half years later. (We are friends now, FWIW.) Then when I worked at St. John’s Hospital, I met the woman who would become my second wife and mother of my boys, and we’ve been together for 18 and a half years, married for almost 16 and a half. So there you go. 
  5. What piece of wisdom from your own life should be a catchy proverb for others to live by? There are so many little nuggets of wisdom I have collected over my almost 47 years- many of them within the last 5 years or so, and many from one person (my good friend Kelly). It would be so hard to narrow them down to one single “proverb by which others should live their lives”, but one I saw just this morning on Twitter comes from @kimkwells, who posted the following:

“Giving up on a goal because of a setback is like slashing your other 3 tires because you got a flat.”

That sounds extremely wise to me.

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It’s the Pu-pocalypse!

No, not the POO-pocalypse- that is what happens after a night of White Castle and Milwaukee’s Best. I said the PU-pocalypse, of which “Cardinal Nation” is in the midst due to Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals not coming to terms on a contract extension by today’s noon deadline.

Now I am the first to admit I really know nothing of the inner workings on pro ballplayers’ contracts, guaranteed salaries, bonuses, various incentive clauses, etc. And I also find it disgusting that ballplayers, Pujols included, are able to command such exorbitantly ridiculous and/or ridiculously exorbitant salaries, especially when the nation’s teachers don’t make squat, but that’s an argument for another time. So allow me to give my mostly ignorant perspective on this whole Albert Pujols contract thing, and forgive the talking out of my backside that likely will occur.

I’m saying up front I don’t understand how MLB contracts work. Deal with it. (Perhaps my brother, whom I consider extraordinarily knowledgeable in most everything baseball, especially for someone not in “the business”, could correct and/or clarify anything I get confused or just plain wrong.)

First of all, Pu’s heart is at least seemingly in the right place [for Cardinal fans] in that he says he wants to stay in St. Louis his entire career. The 10-year deal he seeks would make him 41 when it ends. A lot can happen in that time; you can’t really blame the front office for not agreeing to a 10-year deal- they theoretically could be stuck paying him a lot of money for four years after he’s out of baseball if, by chance and heaven forbid, his elbow finally detaches from his body, or he blows an MCL or something. That’s a big risk- for ANY team. And I know it’s the same monetarily, but there is still a big difference between 7 years/$210MM and 10 years/$300MM. (To be fair, I kinda stole that line from my brother. It just somehow sounds far more intelligent and meaningful coming from him.)

And honestly, you really can’t fault Pujols for wanting [or expecting] to be paid his worth. He is, after all, the best player in the game. Even as completely subjective as that moniker is, it’s difficult to argue against it. Seeing the deals that guys like A-Rod, Ryan Howard, and numerous pitchers have gotten in recent years, why shouldn’t Pujols get his due? And again, this is coming from someone who is absolutely nauseated by the amount of money grown men make for playing a child’s game. I just saw a tweet that said that the team’s offer would have only made him about the 10th highest paid player in the league. Even at MLB’s insulting [to us little people] salaries, that is a friggin’ joke. If the Cardinals can’t or won’t pay him what he’s worth, why shouldn’t he play for someone who will? And someone- SOMEONE- will. My guess is that, unless the Cardinals find a way to dump Holliday, Carp, Wainwright, and all their high-priced players so they can pay Pujols, he will wind up wearing the much-despised pinstripes in the Bronx. Yes, I know they have Texeira at first, but the Yankees being the Yankees, they’d likely find somewhere for Pujols to fit. Perhaps platooning him and Tex between 1B-DH or something. Like I said, it’s the Yankees, the “Stack ’em and Rack ’em” team of Major League Baseball. Boston MAY be a possibility, given their nearly bottomless checkbook, but I honestly see the Yankees as the only team that can realistically afford to pay him what he wants. Wants, deserves, whatever. Same diff. In terms of “real people” money, he doesn’t deserve a fraction of that, but in terms of MLB players [and teams] money, he deserves every bit of that and more.

Truth be told, even as a Cardinal fan, if the Cardinals can’t keep him, I’d actually MUCH rather see him play future home games at Wrigley than at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees represent everything I hate about baseball (and sports in general) and I can’t in good conscience root for anyone that wears their uniform, whether or not he’s the best player in the league, and whether or not he spent his first 10 seasons on the team I support. It’s the friggin’ Yankees. The Evil Empire. The “Yes, we have 27 championships- bought and paid for” team. (I know, I know; but I simply loathe the Yankees.) If he makes $300MM playing for any other team in MLB, it’s at least comparatively okay. If he makes $300MM playing for the Yankees, he will have sold out and I will have no choice but to hate him with every fiber of my being. It’s my rationalization; let me go with it.

Anyway, if the Cardinals do somehow find a way to keep Pujols and give him the money he wants and deserves, there’s no realistic way they can field any sort of quality team around him in order to be a legitimate contender. They won’t be able to afford anyone else [of any real worth]. Carpenter would be gone, Wainwright would be gone, Holliday would be gone, even that little princess Jim Edmonds would be gone. Great CF in his prime, Jimmy E was, but I just don’t get the excitement Cardinals fans felt in the team signing him. Again. Anyway, it’ll be pretty difficult for Pujols to win a championship essentially by himself. He is the best player in the league right now, but even HE isn’t that good.

The biggest thing that gets me with this whole Albert Pujols St. Louis Cardinals Deathclock Watch thing is watching posts and tweets from Cardinals “fans”. Cheese is rice, folks… what’s with all the doom and gloom? Rare nowadays is the superstar, HoF-caliber player that stays on the same team their entire career. Last one I can think of without really thinking about it would be Cal Ripken. The Cardinals have him for 2011, let’s just let him play while he’s here, and when the season is over and the real crunch time to re-sign him comes, THEN we can pucker our sphincters.

But even if he does leave… life. Goes. On. Baseball in St. Louis will not end just because #5 leaves. You all call yourselves the “Greatest Fans In Baseball™” (a term I once used frequently but now despise hearing); if that’s true, you will be sad that he is gone, as will I, hope he continues his amazing career, as will I, but continue to faithfully support the Cardinals. As will I. If you no longer root for the Cardinals because Pujols leaves, you’re not a Cardinals fan. If your loyalties can change that easily, I can’t even call you a baseball fan.

I am a fan of the game, first and foremost, and a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals second. What benefits the game as a whole typically means more to me than what benefits just my team. That said, I have been a lifelong Cardinals fan, since the first game my dad took me to in the Concrete Doughnut more than 35 years ago. I lived and died by Jack Buck’s voice on the radio for every game for which I wasn’t in attendance. Hearing “That’s a winner!” was a big highlight of my youth, adolescence, and adulthood. And let us not forget JFB’s “Go crazy, folks!” when Ozzie hit that homerun in the ’85 NLCS.

I was there (here and henceforth meaning “as a fan”) when the ’82 team won the Series. I was there for Gibson. Brock. Templeton grabbing his crotch. Ozzie. Willie. Whitey. Vince getting eaten by the tarp. Bruce. Forsch’s first no-hitter (the first one at the Doughnut, for the record). Seaver no-hitting the Cardinals later that season. Forsch’s second no-hitter. Valenzuela no-hitting the Cardinals. Jiménez’ no-hitter, in which he beat Randy Johnson 1-0, and, if memory serves, the only hit Johnson gave up that day was the winning home run. Bud Smith’s no-hitter. (Who?!) McGwire. The rise, downfall, re-rise, and re-downfall of Rick Ankiel. Hollywood Jimmy E. And of course, El Hombre. I was there when the ’04 team got embarrassingly swept by the Red Sox. I was there when the ’06 team redeemed that Series by beating the Tigers.

I was also there supporting those atrociously abysmal Cardinals teams of some of those seasons from the mid-to-late 80s to the early-to-mid 90s. I felt the sting when the ’85 team lost to the Royals. (Don’t get me started on you people that STILL blame Denkinger for the Cardinals losing the Series that year. Let it go.) I saw the Cardinals and Cubs swap numerous players over the years- and, in recent years, occasionally do takebacksies. I was there when Jocketty made that abomination of a trade for Mark Mulder. I was thrilled when LaRussa first came to manage the Cardinals, and I will be even more thrilled when his completely off the deep end, wiggity-whack ass finally leaves.

The point is, regardless of the good or the bad, I have been a Cardinals fan forever, and forever will be. Life- and baseball- will go on in Busch Stadium whether Albert Pujols is there or not. It may not be nearly as electrifying, and perhaps not for a long while, but it will go on. Get a grip, people. Perhaps we all got so used to seeing #5 blast 30+ homeruns each year and rack up 100 RBI every year but one that we never dreamed the day Pujols is no longer a Cardinal could possibly arrive. Well, it’s quite possible that, at least by this time next year, that day actually will arrive. Y’all better check ya self before ya wreck ya self.

Anyway, thanks for indulging me, and I apologize again for not being knowledgeable enough to accurately delve into the facts and figures of the negotiations, but I just felt I needed to try to make the “Greatest Fans In Baseball™” [wink wink] understand that, while painful, losing Pujols will not destroy your life. Actually, if it does, you’ve got much bigger problems.

Just saying.

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Filed under baseball, disappointment

Open letter to Mother Nature

Fuck off.

–Johann

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Filed under random thoughts

R.I.P. Mayor Tim Davlin

Mayor Tim Davlin

Springfield’s mayor, Tim Davlin, was found dead in his home yesterday morning from “an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound”.  I’m not here to speak on how he died, why he died, any sort of speculation into that or any sort of conspiracy, actual or perceived.

I want to speak about the man.

I never met Mayor Davlin, which is rather surprising in a town this size, and considering how he always seemed to pop up just about everywhere, sometimes in a political capacity, but most often in a personal capacity.  He and I stood on opposite sides of that arbitrary political designation line, but while I didn’t agree with some of his stances, I feel he did a good job not just for the city of Springfield but also for the state of Illinois.

I am currently listening to WMAY, the local talk radio station, and while I hate listening to talk radio because of the whack jobs that routinely call in, it’s actually surprisingly nice hearing some of the callers’ stories about how Mayor Davlin touched their lives.  Whether you agreed with and/or supported him or not, his impact on his constituents, the citizens of Springfield, cannot be denied. I am sure there are people who are saying he did not do anything without the ulterior motive of political gain, and I imagine that at least to SOME degree there may be a *little* bit of truth to that, but even having not known him, I believe that a grand majority of his actions were simply out of the notion that that is simply the type of person he was.

As the radio host just said, even if you could not stand his politics, you couldn’t NOT like the guy. He was a handsome man, extremely charismatic and charming. Again, due to his being a politician, I’m sure there are people who will argue it was all an act. I disagree, especially after hearing some of the calls coming in. And while I am the first to admit I don’t have much faith in most people, I just don’t think people can be THAT good an actor THAT often.  As I mentioned before, it seemed Mayor Davlin turned up darned near everywhere. Yes, some events would fall under the “mayoral photo op” category, but more often than not, it was because he simply wanted to be there, not as “Mayor Davlin” but as “Tim”.

Mayor Davlin was a strong, tireless supporter of veterans and would often appear at various functions honoring and/or raising money for veterans’ associations. He marched in the St. Patrick’s Day parade handing out candy, flowers, green clown noses, whatever, and again, he was just “Tim”, not “Mayor Davlin”.  I’m hearing on the radio that, to the majority of the people calling in, he introduced himself as “Tim”.  He was our mayor, but he was also one of us, first and foremost.  Just a resident of a town he loved; he just happened to run the town he loved, and I believe that’s how he viewed his terms as mayor.

As I type this, an autopsy is being performed on his body, and results are expected to be announced any time.  I am not looking forward to the inevitable wave of speculation as to why the mayor shot himself- IF that is ultimately what happened.  WMAY has already had people calling in wanting to “end the pity party”, with one guy talking about how we need to take this time to “clean up the corruption, with one governor in prison, another heading to prison, and the capital’s mayor killing himself…”

Now do you get why I think most people suck?

He was not without his blemishes, personally and professionally, as none of us are, but to once again quote the radio host, this is truly a sad day for the city of Springfield.  My thoughts and prayers are with his family, especially his children.  I cannot even begin to imagine what they are going through, especially with this being the Christmas season.

I never met Mayor Davlin- or Tim, for that matter- but in an odd way I feel like I have lost a friend.

 

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