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Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Post-Bowl: Long As I Can See The Light...

I was born a ramblin' gamblin' man... 

Dateline:  Paris, France

Sexy indifference.

What are you looking at?
He walks into The Cambridge Public House in the Marais - short, choppy steps belying a "don't make me call my lawyers 'cause I'll own this place before I've finished my first drink" insouciance.   

This is not his first time in this establishment and while the current clientele of the bar look mildly askance at his presence, the proprietor does not.  He shows the dog to his usual table, a water bowl already waiting.  

Is it Evian?  Jerrence doesn't doubt it - he understands that he is hanging with someone special.

Fun fact:  Paris is called The City of Light" -- not for anything to do with the wattage put out by the 276 monuments, hotels, churches, fountains, bridges and canals that illuminate the town every evening.  Instead, the "light" of Paris refers to the intellectuals, artists, writers and musicians who made it the cultural center of the world in the 1920's.

Safe to safe, Jerrence's presence in the city wasn't driving any intellectual power surges.  Paris is also an extraordinarily dog-friendly city and Monsieur Jacques (Jack) is the clear Mayor by acclimation and Jerrence was ecstatic at being his wingman.  

Where are we going next, buddy?

At this point, Jerrence was in the second half of his Christmas European-Deny-Myself-Nothing tour.  

His oldest daughter and granddaughter had just left the Spain leg of the trip, returning to the US of A and now it was, je t'aime Paris! for Jerrence -- ready to raise his gastronimic game from the addictive croquettes and paella of the Costa del Sol to running the gamut of crepes and pain au chocolat to gratins chauds and foie gras.

And of course, vin rouge.

You told me you knew the way home... 
Running with Jacques/Jack for 10 days inspired this blogger to re-imagine the French auteur Francois Truffaut's 1962 classic, "Jules et Jim" to something more contemporary. 

Jacques et Jerrence.  Wherein rather than a love triangle at the story's center, the present day pair's unlikely partnership (and The Love That Dare Not Speaks Its Name, man and dog) would drive the story... with hi-jinx ensuing as they solve crimes while interacting with interesting city folk, eating great food and navigating the Paris Metro system. 

But I digress.

The point is that while things don't always go as one envisions, the end result can still be satisfactory.  

Jacques, Jerrence and Notre Dame football 2023 - full of surprises.  Consistent?  Not even a little bit.  Entertaining?  Absolument.   

Quote of the Week

"Just because I wrote it, doesn't mean I know what it's about..."
                           Lou Reed

Amen witness, Lou.  That's what I've been trying to tell them for 15 years.

Word of the Week

Used in a sentence paragraph
:  Having just been stunned by how impressed he was with Pam Ungashick's debut novel, "Somebody Knows" -- coupled with the news of a forthcoming 2025 Bryan Gruley novel -- sent Young Jerrence spiraling into deep thought:  what, possibly, could he ever write about?
One week into his 2nd annual Naples winter secondment, he didn't have to wait long for inspiration.  It came at his local health club in the form of a Grand Guignol novella, tentatively titled, L'Outsider, where J'errencè, a 67 year old French retiree finds himself confronted with overwhelming feelings of inadequacy as he recognizes his inability to fit into this Stepford-like community:
  • not tan enough
  • hair insufficient for a man bun
  • tat-less
  • no sleeveless shirts
  • no black workout clothes
  • unable to make black socks with shorts look cool
Run, don't walk, to read this. 
It was clear to the Frenchman that even the kindly geriatric woman with the weathered skin that looked like that treasured baseball glove from childhood... the one you soaked overnight in a bucket of water with a baseball wrapped in it to get the leather just right... could snap him like a twig.

Panicked, retreating to the men's locker room sauna to regroup and reflect, J'errencè discovers a portal to a parallel dystopian, post-apocalyptic world bereft of croissants where he must fight overwhelming odds to find a way back home.  

Ultimately a Cormac McCarthy-meets-Frank Capra story of redemption, J'errencè re-discovers The True Meaning of Life.  And renews his visitors visa. 

Post-Season Thoughts  

What you want to bet
We ain't started yet...
Baby, stick around! 

Even as the college game increasingly resembles a game that I no recognize, I am optimistic about Marcus and the team's, future.

The End. 

Other, broader thoughts:

Off Season To-Do's.  Typically, the January-to-July period for the Irish can be fraught with much hand wringing and howling at the moon (and I'm not referring to the Dillon attendance-heavy Shawarma Night at the Feifar's).  

This year, not so much.  

Looking at a loose, unofficial 'must do' list for Freeman & Co., one could objectively evaluate the past five months as a solid 'A' effort:
  • Al Golden returns - check
  • Mike Mickens returns - check
  • Xavier Watts returns - check
  • Rylie Mills returns - check
  • Howard Cross returns - check
  • Riley Leonard signs on - check
  • Significant athletic upgrade at LB - check
  • Secondary depth addressed - check 
  • WR room upgraded after portal defections - check
  • New freshmen (e.g., Carr, Viliaamu-Asa, Gilbert) show out - check
  • Zero important post-Spring practice transfers - check
  • New state-of-the-art football facility broken ground - check

I'm sure there's more to call out...  but you get the point.  

What keeps this from being an A+ offseason?  One would've liked a stud OT (transfer or in-house) to appear and that didn't seem to happen.  Plus the surgeries to Leonard and Ben Morrison, while seemingly not August training camp threatening, was a bit of a buzz kill.

But, again, compared to years' past?  Nirvana.

2024 JT Daniels Award winner 
Transfer Portal
 .  Food for thought:  lest one thinks using the portal to augment your team's talent base is a sign of desperation, check this out.  

Out of the College Playoff teams this season, the number of transfers in their two-deep rosters...
  • Washington -- 11
  • Michigan -- 10
  • Texas and Alabama -- 6 
  • Georgia* -- 4
*Not a playoff team but the best team in the country for 12 out of 13 weeks.

Spring Game.  Yes, I watched it.   And yes, it's a couple hours of my life I will never get back.  Consider me the ND Football equivalent of a Sin Eater - ingesting the bad so that you all may live your best lives.  Here's my headlines:

  • The defense should be REALLY good.  Really fast.
  • The offense at the skill positions (RB, WR) look the best / deepest in years.
    • The O-line will be the key. And to me, they don't look like a sure thing.
  • All the QB's looked good. The freshman QB, Carr, looks very advanced, like he could be a legit starter by the end of the year.

.   For your consideration - and thank you to Messrs. Sampson & Fortuna on their recent podcast for pointing this out:  

More than ever, quality depth is gonna matter in the Age of a 12 team playoff system.  

Think about this: if ND (or anyone) goes to the Championship game, it makes for a minimum 15 game season!  

Yikes.   That's NFL-level.

I gave your name as my emergency phone call
Honey, it rang and rang
Even the cops thought you were wrong for hangin' up... 

Buddy's Buddy

I weep for the state of bowl games any more.  Unless the game has playoff implications, this year or next, the bowl game has become a more expensive Spring game scrimmage.

Essentially a tryout for either the team you're playing for - can they count on you next year - or for the teams that'll vie for you if/when you throw your name into the next transfer portal window.

Enter Steve Angeli.    Here's a guy who has been the textbook definition of 'after thought.'  Never super highly regarded coming out of college -- a "not elite" reputation one can never seem to shake - he's then constantly surrounded by the charisma (and hair) of Sam Hartman and the allure of CJ Carr's (not to mention Kenny Minchey's) potential.   Then football leadership goes out and recruits Riley Leonard.

"What am I, chopped liver?"

With all due respect to the know-it-all ND fanbase, it turns out he's not.  Basically every game he was in this year - limited data points to be sure - he made great decisions, demonstrated surprising arm strength and gave no indication that he couldn't be The Guy in 2024.  Except that he was never quite a 5-star recruit.

A Tony The Tiger bowl stat line of 15-19-232, 3 TD's (and 3 rushes for 27 yds.)  

Pretty impressive.  

And yet, Riley Leonard isn't transferring to ND to be a back up.  Will there be a fair competition...  my guess is, short of an injury by our Duke transfer, Angeli will be playing somewhere else next autumn.   Welcome to college football 2024.

But you were a rock star for one day, Steve. 

II.  Google 'Alan Page', read a few of the articles acquainting you with his life's journey and...
after you let the overwhelming feelings of your own personal inadequacy subside, marvel in what an incredibly impressive man he is.  Has ND ever had an alumnus they could be more proud of?

He's been in the news a bit recently as part of Black History Month and his story is worth being reacquainted with.  One anecdote lifted from a recent The Athletic article to share:  

In 1978, Page received his law degree from the University of Minnesota. In 1979, while still playing football, he started working as a lawyer for Lindquist & Vennum, which specialized in employee labor issues. He later joined the attorney general’s office, representing state agencies in employment litigation, and eventually became assistant attorney general.

After 14 years as a lawyer, he set his sights on a Supreme Court seat. His first attempt to run, in 1990, was blocked by Governor Rudy Perpich, who was intent on appointing a candidate of his choosing. His second attempt was met with similar resistance when Governor Arne Carlson tried to thwart Page by extending the term of a sitting judge. Page subsequently sued Carlson and won the right to run.

During the campaign, there were blocks below the knees, as there often are in politics. Page was accused of being a legal lightweight and capitalizing on his fame, but he won with 62% of the vote. 

Page was re-elected three times and spent 22 years on the court before stepping down at the mandatory retirement age of 70 in 2015. Unsurprisingly, he often presented dissenting opinions.

For much of what he accomplished, he credits Diane, who died in 2018 after 45 years of marriage. “She inspired me,” Page says. “She taught me things and influenced me a great deal. I’m not sure I would have been in the position to be able to become a Supreme Court Justice without her.”

At his initial swearing-in, Diane arranged for a group of 4th graders to attend.

At Page’s induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988, he didn’t talk about football. He spoke of education and explained his commitment to improving the educational system. The year of his induction, he and Diane started the Page Education Foundation to reward Page Scholarships to students of color and then required the recipients to mentor younger children. He says the foundation has awarded nearly 9,000 scholarships and taken in approximately $16 million in grants.

Honorable Mention

Q.  What is the common thread between Brett Favre - Aaron Rodgers - Jordan Love?  Other than owning the Chicago Bears.

Coached by Tom Clements.  

Arguably my favorite ND player as an impressionable high school lad - I still remember where I was (New Years Eve party) for the single most clutch play in Notre Dame football history - Clements has been the Packers' QB coach and widely recognized as the primary driver in the team's QB success.  

Build that man a statue - Go Pack Go!

Greatest single ND football play call (and execution) - debate me.

RE-PETE (A shameless, illegal lift of Pete Sampson's weekly mail-bag)

Timing is everything, so the saying goes. 

Never more so that when you're talking about Notre Dame football in the offseason.

Depending on the day, we could be dwelling on: a) the increasingly shrinking WR room, b) recruiting one of the top transfer portal QB's, c) locking down a top 10 recruiting class, d) convincing a few of the defensive stalwarts to return for another year, e) rejoicing in the OC getting a head coaching job and poaching Brian Kelly's highly regarding pal as a replacement...

You get the idea.   So why not turn our attention to something a little more forward looking -- new football complex, anyone? -- and Stayer relevant...  

We’ve heard you mention alignment within Notre Dame: the university, the athletic department and donors. We did not see this much during Brian Kelly’s tenure. Is this because of the way Marcus Freeman has bought into what makes Notre Dame different? Not taking anything away from what Kelly accomplished, but it seems he often went against the uniqueness of Notre Dame. Freeman seems more engaged with fans, alumni and school writ large compared to Kelly.

Jason S.

There’s a lot to unpack there. I think you’re on to something, but it’s important to acknowledge that the “uniqueness” of Notre Dame is not automatically a good thing when it comes to winning football games. It takes a head coach who understands how to leverage that uniqueness, i.e. “Choose hard” or “4 for 40” as recruiting pitches. It also takes a head coach to call Notre Dame out when uniqueness becomes a euphemism for a failure to innovate. And that’s where Kelly was very good as Notre Dame’s head coach. Jack Swarbrick has said it himself in interviews that Notre Dame football was “broken” when Kelly was hired to replace Charlie Weis. In that moment, Notre Dame didn’t need a coach who leaned into “we’ve always done it this way, we’re Notre Dame” as much as it needed a head coach willing to break stuff and bend the football program to his will. If Kelly had been aligned with the administration and donors those first few years, Notre Dame football doesn’t pick itself up off the mat, doesn’t make the BCS National Championship Game, doesn’t make the College Football Playoff twice. It doesn’t get the Irish Athletic Center built as quickly, either; its construction was basically written into one of Kelly’s early contract extensions.

Another way to look at it: Kelly pushed Notre Dame football so far forward that when he left for LSU, this place didn’t need to hire another Brian Kelly to rebuild anything. They needed a head coach who could continue the work already done. Being aligned with the administration, university and donors was much easier for Freeman because all three saw what it took to win under the old coach. Freeman’s emotional intelligence with all three groups has pushed that alignment further, which is significant. Shields Hall is coming, NIL is in a healthy (and aggressive) place, recruiting investment is up. Freeman deserves credit for this. So does Kelly.

The distinction here is Kelly took Notre Dame as far as he could take it, which was pretty damn far considering where the football program was when he arrived. But to fully get everybody on board, you need a head coach willing to recruit donors, administrators and deans. Kelly didn’t want to do that. It’s not hard to understand why considering the progress he forced on this place. Being Notre Dame’s all-time wins leader is a heck of an ego boost. Freeman is the opposite. His default setting is an embrace. He’s wired to say yes. And he gets to align with a version of Notre Dame that’s aligned with winning in a different way.

Source: The Athletic
May 6, 2024

Cocktail of the Month

The thing about the offseason now - much like professional football (which management would argue has significantly heightened the interest in the game to a near year round level) - is that it's become the equivalent of speed dating.  

Or prostitution, if you're more prone to emphasize the monetary, transactional nature of athlete movement. 

You hope it works out, that you've matched well and there's actually some level of genuine commitment (on each side, it must be said).

But you never know until you actually get together...

You've got Ale
You've Got Mail (1998)
Directed by Nora Ephron

If you've ever fallen in love with someone on the internet only to meet the "real them' in person, you'll understand the timeless appeal of You've Got Mail, an AOL-era twist on the oft-adapted "shop around the corner" premise.

Then-bankable box office pair Meg Ryan (pre-disfiguring Botox treatments) and Tom Hanks play opposite each other as bitter rivals in the David-versus-Goliath world of bookselling, neither of them realizing that they're already acquainted thanks to anonymous flirtations.

Re-"kindle" your love of books (if not online dating) with this perfectly paired bubbles-meets-
brawn beverage.

*  4 oz.  ale
*  2 oz.  ginger ale
*  2 oz.  champagne

Pour the ale into a pint glass, add the ginger ale, and top with the champagne.  

Swipe right on this one and hope it's a match!

Source:  Tequila Mockingbird 
Cocktails With a Literary Twists
by Tim Federle

 Schedule 2024

Never too soon to start looking to next year...

31                @Texas A&M               


7                  Northern Illinois                                                       
14                @Purdue                                 
21                Miami (OH)                    Alumni Hall gang reunion               
28                Louisville

12                Stanford                          The Brothers Corrigan game
19                @Georgia Tech                 
26                Navy


 9                Florida State       
16               Virginia     
23               @Army  (Yankee Stadium)       McSorley's anyone?                        
30              @USC                                     


20             1st round playoff game at ND Stadium -- see you there.


Wager 2023

I don't know how they got our names
But yesterday this letter came. 
You may already be a winner...

A couple Dillon Tools and a Temple Owl walk into a bar...

The beginning of a joke?  More like the three winners of this past year's Wager about to celebrate their mad prognostication skills...

Congratulations, Messrs.  Jank, Scanlon and Thompson!  


ND Lacrosse God



Kevin Corrigan


A Corrigan as national champ?



Brian M.John P., John L.


Matt Kavanagh


The first of the Kavanagh clan, his career mirrors that of how an 11 win season might be construed - undeniably excellent, just not quite good enough.

DarylDave M.PeterRay


Pat Kavanagh


Nobody embodies 'tough' more than this guy... suggesting a 10 win season, with all the unknowns on the team (e.g., WR's), may say more about the team's fortitude - and future - than two losses might.



Brian W, Jay, BillRyanMattGarrettCincoBucks,  

SullyRaz, TedLiniJim B.,  Spit the Elder,  Spit the YoungerMike B., Bryan


Chris Kavanagh

How would a 9-win season be viewed?  The guess here is "wow, that year was crazy, a little unhinged, certainly unpredictable!"

Which seems to be the most perfect description of the youngest Kavanagh. 



Jim S.Bob J.,  

GutschJim T.Jerry P., UngieCoat Man, AlexMike G., GeorgeFeif


Sergio Perkovic.

The pride of Bloomfield Hills, arguably the Austin Carr of his era (check out sometime how he singlehandedly brought the team back in a NCAA semi-final vs. Denver).

Yet no one remembers him in light of the team's recent success.  Just like no one will choose to remember an 8-win outcome.


Albert, Jerry W., Blair


Liam Entenmann

7 wins, ugh.  No one would be happy with that - yet out of it may reveal a preternatural performance or two (ala our man Liam in Philadelphia), setting up an optimistic 2024 scenario.

Dare to dream.



Gerry Byrne


Nothing optimistic about 6 wins or less.  Just looking for someone to blame.  In this case, why not point the finger at the former 2nd in command to Corrigan, architect for a top tier defense strategy who (got tired of waiting and) left for the top job at Harvard.

Not fair but so what.



This is lacrosse 'when it was a club sport' territory...



How are the fencers looking this year?


Schadenfreude of the Week.

When one takes four months to write a end-of-season follow up blog, in the context of this section it begs the question, "Can one hang onto / enjoy /revel in another team's profound disappointment for that long?"

You're damn right I can.

Only writer's fatigue (and a general apathy toward the NBA) keeps me from throwing LeBron and the Lakers on this list. 

1) Alabama
.  Talk about a rough month - you lose the playoff game (shocking!) and then your legendary coach says "peace out" (WTF?!) and then the transfer portal decisions start coming.  

Bummer.  Welcome (back) to the real world.  Except with even more deranged fans with unrealistic expectations. 

2)  Brazil.   "Two-time defending champs fail to qualify for Paris games after loss to Argentina."  

Good. Give the other countries a chance.  Plus I always found the whole "our stars only need one name" to be super pretentious. (I'll grant you Pele but Ronaldinho / Ronaldo / Neymar / Kaká... isn't that just a bit presumptuous?)

3)  Dallas Cowboys.  The self-anointed "America's Team", a reasonably accurate  moniker mostly by virtue that everyone in the U.S. outside of Texas hate them... 

Home playoff game coming off a dominant 12-5 season, including an undefeated home field record, heavily favored against a scrappy, post-Rodgers Packer team.  

And get crushed.  On that day, everyone was a Packer fan.

Interesting (only to Packer fans) factoid:  As a starter, Aaron Rodgers has never lost to the Cowboys at Jerry World (or whatever they call their stadium).  Now the same can be true for Jordan Love.  

While I wish the same could said about the Pack and the 49ers... still, I love tradition. 

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss...

4)  Michigan.  Sure, they won it all.  Sure, their championship ought to come with an asterisk.  

Sure, it won't.  

But karma can be a sultry temptress bitch... 

So when their extraordinary, I-think-he-might-be-on-the-spectrum head coach bails on them ("third time's a charm, Jim") and takes most of their coaching staff with him... while looking at a 2024 schedule that includes Texas, USC, Washington and Ohio State... 

Then there's those pesky NCAA investigations.

This is Jerrence making a proactive reservation on The Schadenfreude Express for the Wolverines this coming season.

Terry's Tools.

By rights, this edition's Tool section should be entirely devoted to Taylor Swift as it's become fairly obvious that most of the world's ills can be traced directly to her.

Well, her and the satanic J.K. Rowling.

Frankly, I'm not even sure Swift is human - an advanced A.I. prototype bot-gone-rogue developed by the woke deep state.  

But when I saw her chug that beer... and when she slammed that bad boy down... I found myself reconsidering my position. 

Plus I've been told tolerance is a virtue.

So in light of that, here's my off-season idiocracy:

1)  Jon Rahm.   Someone offers you $500M, you gotta take it, right?  Of course you do!  So when one hears the "I did it because the best for me and my family and being a big fan of innovation and liking to travel the world" - all of which certainly can be true... it just felt a little lame.  

You couldn't just say, "It's half a freaking billion dollars!  Are you insane?!  Who is gonna turn that down!"

2)  Tennessee"Go big or go home."  That's what the expression is, right?  Right along side, "If you ain't cheatin', you ain't trying..."  

Bravo, Tennessee for this year's "Overachiever of the Year" award, in recognition of your being penalized last summer for 200+ rules infractions (including almost $60,000 in impermissible inducements and benefits for recruits). 

Now, the school is back in the NCAA's crosshairs (and given how inept that organization is, that's saying something) with an entirely new batch of penalties.

Yikes - putting the 'rocky' back into "Rocky Top."

Now the world awaits what favored son Michigan will receive. 

(But we're not holding our breath on that one.)

3)  Alabama.  Ever since the NIL has made the bagman a recognized, salaried position at many schools, it's been Christmas every day in the SEC.  And for the Crimson Tide, if the boosters didn't pony up, well they always had their god-like head coach to close the deal.  

Now, not so much. 

So... you're admitting you're a cult.

4).  Brett Favre.   I'm not saying that Brett was the inspiration for Forrest Gump.  But I'm not not saying it either...

5)  Taylor Swift haters.   Honestly, don't you have anything better to do with your time?

Best. Cover. Ever. 
6). Sports Illustrated.  Growing up, Thursday was always a day to look forward to.  First, it meant that the weekend was nigh.  Second, it meant that by the time you got home from school, Sports Illustrated was waiting for you.

With a stable of phenomenal writers - Dan Jenkins, Frank DeFord, Rick Telander, Rick Reilly among them - the articles were pithy and the photography spectacular.  No doubt my love of sports - and writing - was greatly influenced by the decades of reading those weeklies front to cover. 

Well, that ship has sailed.  The ownership group recently laid off essentially what little staff was left, killing the publication.

Not saying it was the wrong thing to do -- thank you, Digital Age -- but that doesn't make it any less sad for this 67 year old. 

7.   Chicago Bulls fans.    There's being a douche... and then there's being just flat out, cold-hearted pathologically mean.  No doubt influenced by Netflix's The Last Dance documentary of the Bulls final successful title chase - where GM Jerry Krause came off as both the architect of the dynasty's disassembly as well as the target of Michael Jordan's ridicule - a group of fans chose to let their lingering feelings be heard at a January game where Mr. Krause was inducted into the team's Ring of Honor./

The fact that Krause has been dead for almost seven years and was represented by his 80 year old widow didn't dissuade them from channeling their inner asshole, booing the ceremony and driving her to tears.  

Chicago, this is not who you are.

8.  Duke.  Because entitlement never goes out of style. 

9.  Kristi Noem.  Honestly, governor, did you learn nothing from the John Wick franchise?!     Allow me to summarize:  Killing a dog -- and bragging about it -- never ends well.  Never. 

Finally... what if tolerance just isn't your thing - "Hey, Jerrence, like, that's just not who I am, man..."  Okay, let your freak flag fly.   So if not turning the other cheek, how about torture?  And going really, really Old School.  I give you, The Spanish Donkey

"I swear I'll never excessively celebrate again!"  

At first glance, the so-called Spanish Donkey may not seem menacing.  But take a closer look.  It was shaped like a pommel horse in gymnastics but with a pointed trinagular edge facing upward. 

This device's shape ensured that its victims received a gruesomely agonizing experience.

The offender would be stripped of all their clothes and then made to straddle what was essentially a triangular piece of metal with a board placed over it to form a sawhorse-type shape.

Often the victim would then have restraints or weights tied to their ankles in order to make the experience even more painful.

Depending on how long the victim was made to sit on the Spanish Donkey, they could experience anything from intense discomfort to agonizing pain to disfigurement and death. 

Name of the Month

One the consistent bits of feedback I get from the thousands hundreds scores few, often imaginary, fans this blog has is "Can you make your posts even longer?"

And while there's much about football players these days -- both college and professional -- that bewilders me (why must they emote after every single f*cking play / what ever happened to just 'do your job'), one of the more fascinating evolutions has been that of the creative names of said athletes -- Major Booty will always be a personal favorite -- thus I give you this edition's first nominee.  

(Props to the Gen X parents of the world for recognizing that true creativity starts in the neonatal wing of the hospital.)

Final Thoughts

Sir, may I have another?
1)  Lacrosse.  The regular season has ended...  ND just blew through the ACC tournament like a hot knife through butter (with a 34-15 goal differential vs. arch-nemisis' UVA and Duke) -- looking very much like the defending national champs that they are.  

With the NCAA Lacrosse Finals occurring the weekend prior to our Reunion -- when we can hail Massapequa, NY as the cradle of the sport and perhaps have Mr. Lindon regale us with stories.  

2)  Can you feel the Kenergy?  I'll let you in on a little secret - I think the world (and specifically our country) is in a pretty f*cked up state.  Perhaps you agree though I doubt we wholly align on the drivers of the situation.

So I find myself looking for a little happiness wherever I can get it - and sometimes it comes in the most unexpected places, like this year's Academy Awards show.

Anywhere else I'd be a 10...

Accordingly, if you hear me blurt out "I'm just Ken!" at the Reunion... know that I'm in a conversation from which I desperately require rescuing.  

Either that or the gummy just kicked in.

Don't miss this Perez & Corrigan-led Q&A featuring the Pulitzer Prize winning Mr. Gruley