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Finneran: Christmas Goulash

Friday, December 07, 2018

 

Tom Finneran

Tidbits, odds, and ends, musings…………..

Does anyone out there really like Saturday Night Live? It is so boring, so predictable, so politically correct that it feels like a crappy burdensome homework assignment……….as if you must watch it lest you receive a social demerit for not being woke to SNL’s very well-hidden oh-so-cool “humor”. Perhaps the legalization of weed will make it tolerable, although I doubt it. Even more amazing than its consistent crappiness, is the fact that the Globe and others feel obliged to report on who said what about whom on SNL. Who cares? The show stinks.

We’re now into “Noreaster” season. I prefer the full pronunciation—i.e.—Northeaster. I also prefer to get my milk and bread in advance of the panic stricken public. The real secret to surviving a good winter Northeaster is to stock up on vodka. Forget Stop and Shop or Whole Foods. Be smart and hit the local packie. A side note—every time I hear the weather forecast call for a howling Northeaster, I think of the UK’s Royal Navy on patrol in the North Sea. Don’t ask me why, I just do. And that’s truly rough and foul weather over there……….        

From the world of sports comes the greatest nickname of all time---Do you remember Villanova’s NCAA championship run in last year’s March Madness tournament? Perhaps you remember the red-headed kid who was hitting every shot he took from anywhere on the court. His real name—Donte DiVincenzo. His nickname? The Big Ragu! Perfect. Hilarious. Different. Most redheads get called “Red” or “Rusty” or “Carrot-Top”. Not Donte however---he’s the Big Ragu.

I remember when palming the ball and traveling were actually called as violations in the NBA. Not so today. Today’s athletes might be bigger, stronger, and faster and no one should ever doubt the skill and athleticism of any NBA player. At the same time, might the refs blow the whistle once in a while when said player carries the ball at full speed all the way from midcourt to the basket?

Two great sports stories from earlier in the year:

Andre Ingram, a multi-year player in one of the NBA “development leagues” and, given his age, nearing the end of his hopes and dreams of making an NBA roster. The Los Angeles Lakers called him up late last season and he lit it up! I can’t remember how many points he poured in---was it 18 points?---in a few short minutes. He became the talk of the town and the toast of Sports Center. A great heart-warming story of perseverance, grit, and dreams coming true. Bravo to Andre Ingram.

Scott Foster. Who the heck is Scott Foster you ask? He’s an accountant. He lives in Chicago and at a Blackhawks game last year he was also the official backup goalie the NHL has in the stands at every hockey game. I never even knew that the League had such a rule. Apparently, in case of injury or sickness, there are ordinary civilians who can be called down from the stands to fill in for a suddenly unavailable goalie. Enter accountant Scott Foster. Better still, goalie accountant Foster tended the net and the Blackhawks won! An amazing tale.

ESPN-the good and the bad:

GOOD: ESPN’s “30 for 30” segments are a delight. Great games, great players, great rivalries, and great stories are brought to life. Well done.

BAD: A gentleman by the last name of Lee is scheduled to broadcast a college football game from the campus of some Southern school. ESPN pulls Mr. Lee from the broadcast due to fear that fans will take offense that his last name is the same as Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee’s last name. It’s bad enough that ESPN is so stupid. Worse however is that the company thinks that its audience is similarly stupid.

Perhaps they’ll read a history book. Perhaps they’ll grow up.

Tom Finneran is the former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, served as the head the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, and was a longstanding radio voice in Boston radio.

 

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