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Finneran: Happy New Year!

Friday, September 07, 2018


Mookie Betts

Happy New Year to you and your family.

Summer is gone and it’s back to the grindstone.

It’s time for some “New Year” reflections and resolutions.

I view August as the equivalent of December and Labor Day as the equivalent of New Year’s Day.

Think of it—during those two months most of America stops working and starts some serious socializing. Have you ever tried reaching a business associate or colleague during the last two weeks of August or December? Absolutely no one is around unless it’s for another beach or backyard cookout (August) or another holiday party (December). If America’s enemies ever wanted to deliver a foul and evil blow against us, they would probably choose August or December to strike the deed.

Each month is also a month where most Americans lose the battle of the waist line. We can work out every morning from January until August, get in great shape, and then everything shifts for a month of bad habits. Here’s a sample of my August diet---donuts, muffins, and homemade blueberry pancakes or waffles for breakfast, washed down with milk; then lunch—Italian subs, or burgers and hot dogs, with sea salt potato chips of course, washed down with Coke or lemonade; then dinner with steak tips, burgers, and more hot dogs, with potato salad, and more chips, washed down with milk or an occasional vodka gimlet. All of this is naturally followed by a trip to Nauset Ice Cream for a large chocolate chip or maple walnut ice cream in a waffle cone. After a month of such eating I begin to look like a sumo wrestler in training. And after Labor Day, it’s back to Planet Fitness to reverse the tide. Ten thousand sit-ups are in my immediate future.

Time for some “New Year” hopes and observations:

  • Can the newspapers please stop with the “magic number” nonsense concerning the Red Sox? They are a very good team, enjoying a very good season but it’s ridiculous to start writing about the “magic number” combination of wins and losses needed before they clinch the division. We’re barely into September and magic number talk is premature. A little reminder for all baseball fans---there have been any number of epic September collapses by many teams in both leagues. It’s a long season and we are not immune to injury, fatigue, or prolonged slumps. So sit back and enjoy the ride. Oh, by the way, the Yankees, Indians, and Astros are pretty good teams themselves. Play ball!
  • Aretha Franklin has died. And what a tribute to Lady Aretha was played out across the pond. The Welsh Guard Band, which plays for the Queen at certain royal ceremonies, played an instrumental version of Aretha’s “Respect” at a changing-of-the guard event at Buckingham Palace! Oh those reserved and proper Brits know how to treat a lady. Aretha gave all white guys-even the Brits- some soul. Respect, Chain of Fools, Think, I Say a Little Prayer, A Change is Gonna Come, and so much more of her work belongs on everyone’s playlist. RIP Lady Aretha, Queen of Soul.
  • Can any United States Senator speak extemporaneously for more than thirty seconds? I am so tired of seeing news clips which show a Senator reading some prepared drivel as if he just discovered the particular subject matter for the very first time. It is painful to watch and even more painful to consider that these men and women are so scripted. And yes, I know that the
  • media will pounce immediately on any little stutter or stammer. Still, it’s not unreasonable to expect our public officials to show some basic mastery of subject matter and the English language. Most of these guys would flunk the 8th grade at Boston Latin School declamation.
  • Go Sox! Go Patriots! Go Celtics! Go Bruins! Four seasons converge upon us. Great fun lies ahead.


Happy New Year to all. I’ll see you at the gym.

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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