Friday, Dec 23, 2016

Briefly. (well, kinda) – for those receiving this for the first time hey, it’s Friday!

 “In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas”

 Vern Lundquist, who is about to retire, while commentating a game last week actually said “gee whiz!”

 Before the Washington/Caroline game this past Monday night, Sean McDonough commented that, while not mathematically eliminated, “Carolina has as much of a chance making the playoffs as I do being in a shampoo commercial.” Good one.

 If you happen to come across any goals please send them to the Bruins.

The New Mexico Department of Health says dozens of its employees became sick after its holiday party. A spokesman says that more than 200 employees attended a catered luncheon at the Harold Runnels Building in Sante Fe and 70 of them had gastrointestinal issues afterwards.

Make the nonsense stop! These college football players who have decided to go pro and subsequently have “chosen” not to play in their upcoming bowl game. These kids were given a scholarship which means basically two things. Get a free education and play football. Something either has to be written into their Letter of Intent or into a separate contract.

A little late but did you watch the Heisman Trophy presentation? Lamar Jackson was a surprisingly (to me) humble recipient. He is the youngest to win the award and really acted like a kid repeatly saying “this is crazy!”.

I can’t recall who Tim Tebow interviewed before the Heisman presentation but he did an excellent job, really.

Kevin Youkilas, after hearing that Bobby Valentine was mentioned as possibly being the ambassador to Japan quipped, “looks like I won’t be able to visit Japan for the next 4 years.”

He was the most er – memorable pitchers in recent Red Sox history. And now, fans will be able to see “El Guapo” in the dugout with the Bridgeport Bluefish. Rich Garces, who pitched for the Sox from 1996-2002, was named pitching coach for the Bluefish last Wednesday.

Boston’s Logan International Airport ranked among the worst large airports in the nation in a survey released last week by the global market research firm JD Power. Logan’s ranking dropped from 25th in 2015 to 28th this year out of 32 large airports nationwide. The top three were Portland International (in Oregon), Tampa International and Las Vegas McCarron International Airport. Boston only bested 4 airports on this year’s list: Chicago O’Hare, Philadelphia International, Newark Liberty and New York LaGuardia. Funny, I don’t consider myself much of a traveler though I was at 3 of the worst 5 within the past 3 months. They all worked OK for me!

Pablo Sandoval is posting workout videos on Instagram. That’s like Donald Trump posting etiquette videos.

 Haverhill’s own Justin Reyes (St. Thomas Aquinas) was recently named ECC Player of the Week while averaging 20 pts, 12.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 2 blocks over two games. The Spartan leads the team in points (2nd in the ECC) and rebounds and has the potential to reach 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in his college career.

 “You’re a foul one, Mr. Grinch,
You’re a nasty wasty skunk,
Your heart is full of unwashed socks,
your soul is full of gunk, Mr. Grinch!”

In their first 31 games this season the Bruins had 8 players make their NHL debut, most recently Matt “Can I Buy a Vowel” Grzelcyk.

Isiah Thomas was the last pick in the 2011 NBA draft and has scored more points than all of the other combined last picks since 1989.

A sign of the apocalypse – People can now get answers from Google by tweeting emojis at the company, to which Google will respond with relevant information. A burger emoji tweet, for example, will generate a map showing users burger spots nearby, and an umbrella emoji will show the user the local weather forecast. The move comes as people increasingly replace words with emojis on social media.

December 7th was, of course, Pearl Harbor remembrance day. I expect you all acknowledged such. It was also not only the late Mr. Barry Ruth’s birthday, but also Larry Bird’s birthday. There was a clip on espn.com that you could just let run over and over and it replayed “The Steal” time after time after time. After watching it time after time after time, my takeaway? ALWAYS have a man on the ball (Jerry Sichting) when defending an out of bounds play. In this case, by just being there he blocked Isiah’s view of Bird. BTW, ESPN calls it the greatest steal of all time.

As Tuukka goes, so do the Bruins. Ain’t it the truth.

The Pesky Pole is off for repairs. The 52 foot mesh section is being repaired (40 feet replaced) by DeAngelis Iron Work in South Easton. The pole, named after Red Sox great Johnny Pesky, stands 302 from home plate , the shortest distance in the majors. The pole was named by Mel Parnell after Pesky wrapped a homerun around it, ironically only one of six homeruns he hit at Fenway during his long career. A new 10 foot high base will soon be up to code and continue to stand where it has always been – the seat directly on the foul side of the pole is at Section 94, Row E, Seat 5 and is sold as a lone ticket. Employees of DeAngelis Iron Work have the privilege of inscribing their initials at the top of the pole.

I really like most Christmas tunes. They help get me in the spirit. The problem is, they start immediately after Thanksgiving and by the time Christmas roles around I’m sick of ‘em.

“Giving Tuesday” (givingtuesday.org; #GivingTuesday) was November 29th. The brilliant organization reported that 98 countries/territories participated raising over $168M for charity. There were also millions of “acts of kindness” reported. #GivingTuesday grew by 44% in 2016. Many corporations, like mine, have donation matching programs for that single day. It’s all good stuff. Giving Tuesday is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving each year. It’s Christmas time. Be charitable.

Speaking of giving, it was Jimmy V week last week in NCAA Men’s hoops. Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.

If two teams were selected for the college football playoff, at least one other team would cry foul. Instead, four teams are selected and others cry foul. If 10 teams had been selected, same thing. It’s just the way it goes.

Did you watch DWTS last week? (just making sure you’re paying attention)

How can it be that the Giants lose last night’s game to the Eagles? They had everything to play for (the playoffs) while Philly was playing for nothing! Take note Patriots. We don’t need another game like last night or last year’s against the Jets. Let’s git-r-done!

Todd Bowles? Soon to be delivering pizza in a town near you.
Smoking and even e-cigarette use is down amongst kids, and alcohol use has dropped to its lowest level ever: 37.3 percent of 12th graders said they had been drunk at least once, down from a high of 53.2 percent in 2001, according to an annual survey. Some experts credit social media and video games.

Mr. and Mrs. Harper had just reached the airport in the nick of time to catch the plane for their two-week’s vacation in Tahiti. “I wish we’d brought the piano with us,” said Mr. Harper. “What on earth for?” asked his wife. “I left the tickets on it.”

 Jaromir Jagr is now #2 on the all-time NHL scoring list. If he keeps up this pace, at age 65 he will surpass Wayne Gretzky.
Chris Sale will wear number 41 instead of the number he wore previously (49) out of respect for Tim Wakefield who last wore the number for the Red Sox. I like this guy already!

It’s the one story everyone wants to be a hoax. (bear with me on this one) A Tennessee newspaper that reported a boy died on Santa’s lap — complete with a heart-wrenching account of his final words — said Wednesday it can no longer vouch for the veracity of the depressingly Dickensian Christmas story. The News Sentinel published a story a couple of Sundays ago about a Campbell County Santa Claus actor, Eric Schmitt-Matzen, who said a terminally ill child had died in his arms. The story quickly went viral, with dozens of local and national news outlets interviewing Schmitt-Matzen about his emotional encounter with the unnamed 5-year-old boy. But the paper said it cannot verify the account by Schmitt-Matzen, a 60-year-old mechanical engineer from Jacksboro, Tenn., who spends time volunteering as Santa Claus at a local hospital. “I spent four years in the Army with the 75th Rangers, and I’ve seen my share of [stuff],” Schmitt-Matzen told USA Today. “But I ran by the nurses’ station bawling my head off. I know nurses and doctors see things like that every day, but I don’t know how they can take it.”Schmitt-Matzen told news outlets he arrived at the unidentified hospital and met the boy’s mother and family members, who were also unidentified. A nurse had called with the special request and given him a toy to offer the child during his visit, USA Today reported. “When I walked in, he was laying there so weak, it looked like he was ready to fall asleep,” Schmitt-Matzen told the news outlet. “I sat down on his bed and asked, ‘Say, what’s this I hear about you’re going to miss Christmas? There’s no way you can miss Christmas! You’re my No. 1 elf!’” “He looked up and said, ‘I am?’ I said ‘Sure.’”Schmitt-Matzen told USA Today that he watched him open the present and smile before he lay back down. “’They say I’m going to die,’ he told me. ‘How can I tell when I get to where I’m going?’ I said, ‘Can you do me a big favor?’ He said ‘Sure!’ ‘When you get there, you tell them you’re Santa’s No. 1 elf and I know they’ll let you in.’ He said, ‘They will?’ I said, ‘Sure.’” “He kind of sat up, and gave me a big hug and asked one more question: ‘Santa can you help me?’ I wrapped my arms around him. Before I could say anything, he died right there. I let him stay, just kept hugging and holding on to him,” Schmitt-Matzen told USA Today. Schmitt-Matzen’s account, however, cannot be verified. In a report Wednesday, the Sentinel said: “Since publication, the News Sentinel has done additional investigation in an attempt to independently verify Schmitt-Matzen’s account.” “This has proven unsuccessful,” the paper said. “Although facts about his background have checked out, his story of bringing a gift to a dying child remains unverified. The News Sentinel cannot establish that Schmitt-Matzen’s account is inaccurate, but more importantly, ongoing reporting cannot establish that it is accurate.”
Sign of the apocalypse, part deux. The company, appropriately called Selfee, has launched a $30,000 crowdfunding campaign to open a café in New York City. Using a proprietary app, customers snap a photo of themselves, which is then printed directly onto their food using “FDA-approved edible inks” in mere minutes. The startup hopes to open the café in 2017.

RIP – Zsa Zsa Gabor – Of her many quotes I like these two gems:

I’m a great housekeeper. Every time I get a divorce, I keep the house.”

“I don’t remember anybody’s name. Why do you think the whole ‘dahling’ thing started?”.

 “New York is where I’d rather stay
I get allergic smelling hay
I just adore a penthouse view
Darling I love you but give me Park Avenue.”

Also sadly, RIP Craig Sager. Now a lot of people courageously fight cancer but Sager’s fight was national news, thanks to the NBA, and he was generally liked by all that met him. Sad story.

“Soon it will be Christmas Day”

Merry Christmas everyone! (it’s OK to say that again)

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