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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Reunion: A Pirate Looks At Sixty Seven

I have been drunk now for over two weeks
Passed out and I rallied and I sprung a few leaks
But I got to stop wishing, gotta go fishing
I'm down to rock bottom again
With just a few friends...

Dateline:  Notre Dame, IN

Jerrence and Defarge watch too much TV.  Of that there can be no denying.  What can one say - we are but simple folk, living in a bucolic NW Indiana hamlet.  Easily amused.

Recently we began watching a series from several years ago, "Black Sails," an early 18th Century pirate tale, meant to be a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island.  Jerrence is a sucker for period pieces, even as he recognizes that the women back then couldn't possibly be that hot and the personal hygiene and smells, frankly, had to be horrific.

I believe that is what's called the willing suspension of disbelief.  But I digress.

This particular series was one that integrated actual characters from history with the fictional players of Stevenson's novel... all while set in Nassau, Bahamas and replete with all the wonderful components one would hope would be found in a Pirates of the Caribbean tale:  

  • Charismatic rogues
  • Lusty tarts w heaving bosoms
  • Ruthless Brits intent on preserving their country's near global hegemony
  • Copious amounts of rum
  • Pursuit of vast treasure!
  • Relentless skullduggery.
But what really drew us in was the primary figure, that of legendary pirate captain Flint... who looked a great deal like... Randy Raymond.  

Combining Randy's present day rugged good looks with the high risk -- some would say unbalanced -- decision making of his 1979-era alter ego, Coat Man.

How could one not root for that character?

In any event, between all of the colorful figures, the often perplexing dialogue and the periodic challenge of wondering "did really happen?" about many of the events, Jerrence realized this was actually a better prep for the Reunion than going through the yearbook.  Basically a primer for how to manage three days of organized self-indulgence normally seen in graphic novels.

Yo ho ho!  Bring it on!

Quote of the Week


Fr. Bob Dowd
University of Notre Dame

The school's new leader's response, upon meeting Matt Lindon, Class of '79, upon being asked, "So what do you do here?"

Presidential self-deprecation:    1
Alumni awareness:                      0

Word of the Week

Used in a sentence paragraph
: Young Jerrence pondered the clear irony.  

Here he was witnessing, yet again, the brilliance of the Class of '79 Reunion leadership's ability to run a complex three day event -- driven by what looked like a seamless, if somewhat improbable, three-headed partnership.

All the while demonstrating, at least from that of an outsider's perspective, a clockwork-like efficiency.  There was:

  • Jerry:  Class Visionary / Agent of Chaos. And the guy behind the scenes whose "I want my classmates to enjoy this weekend" North Star has so often clashed with ND bureaucracy.  And yet he always gets it done. And we are the beneficiaries.
  • Barb:  Is it offensive to think of her as The Rock?  I hope not.  Someone has to be the sane one in this collaboration, the one who periodically must have to ask of her partner, not rhetorically, "Are you f*cking kidding me?!"  Jerry may be Mr. Ideas but Barb surely makes it all come together with coherence.
  • Jeff:  Mr. On-site Operations Management.  Class of '79'ers?  You want food and drink (especially drink) almost 24 hrs. a day?  He's the "I gotta guy who knows a guy" operative.  

Bring us a... shrubbery! 
Three heads.  Three roles.  Three very different personalities.  Surely there must be a historical analogy.  Yet, Jerrence wondered why there seemingly never were any benevolent figures from history, literature or mythology with a similar three-headed braintrust.  

They're always monsters. Or monstrous.  The Greeks had their Chimera, Cerberus and Geryon.  The Serbs had Balachko.  And the Irish had Ellén Trechend, a dragon-like creature which terrorized the country until it was slain by a poet warrior (no doubt an English major).  

Why was that?  Doesn't seem right that there's no heroic three headed mutant.  Perhaps it's time to create one.  It'll need a name...


Post-Reunion Thoughts  

I said 'welcome home'
Didn't we miss your smiling face...

It was late Saturday night of the reunion weekend when Jerrence recognized that he probably had something of a competitive advantage -- dare one say, a schematic advantage -- when it comes to these ND get togethers... being both geographically U.S. centric and with the freedom that comes from retirement, the ability to visit classmates at a drop of a hat.

In other words, with three airports and the route 80/94 highways so close at hand, if you blithely invite the Corrigans to visit, beware.  We're showing up.

And then there's the Flaherty / Rasmus / Castellini / Sullivan / Behrens / Belknap Stayer Lot football season tailgates, of which Jerrence and Defarge have pretty much a perfect attendance record (in-stadium appearances not so much).  Every week, a mini-reunion of people we actually like.  Huzzah! 

Plus, of course, it was not lost on Jerrence that this blog that facilitated a fair amount of class connectivity.  It's always did his heart well to see the various non-Arts & Letters majors string together a few noun-verb-adjective sentences.  Kind of like a linguistic Habitat For Humanity, bringing a little structure to the less advantaged.

The point is, as eventful as these 5 year reunion weekends are, they perhaps hold... directionally at least... less heightened expectations for him than they might for his coastal brethren who don't get back quite as often.

And yet... rolling down Notre Dame Ave. to sign in for the weekend and seeing the Admin building in the distance is (was) still pretty thrilling.

Credit to the university, they have the campus looking spectacular for events such as this.  (The cynic might point to the not insignificant amount of donor dollars that are walking the grounds -- but that doesn't make it any less impressive just how attractive the campus is.)

Or how significantly different it looks from 45 years ago - so many the new buildings!   

It's probably worth pointing out that on those football weekends, Jerrence never quite makes it past the Stayer Lot.  Oh, there's a periodic run to the Bookstore - the ridiculously priced ND merch for the granddaughter aren't going to buy themselves after all - but after a couple Behrens' Bloody Mary's, campus alterations don't register so indelibly.

So, not surprising that driving from Registration to the Flaherty Hall dorm, more than once he wondered "where the f*ck am I?!"  Huh. Usually, that doesn't occur until after 10pm.

Other thoughts (in totally stream of conscious fashion):
There were reports of a classmate -- he might've even been a 801 St. Louis housemate -- who went mildly unhinged in the ND bookstore over the lack of Fencing merchandise.   

And perhaps with some justification.  We probably have grown blasè about that program's success - a perennial power spanning 40+ years, with double digit national championships.

And yet, it's hard not to gush over the lacrosse team's success -- even if one still wishes to consider them something of the 'flavor of the month.'  Last year's championship was a tribute to focus, resilience and a team peaking at the right time.  It's immeasurably harder when you're the sport's alpha with a target on your back from Day 1.

With the toughest schedule in country (won 12 games against teams that finished in the final top 20, played 13 of 17 games against top 20 opponents), to go 16-1, give every opponent their worst beating and the only team since stats have been kept (1996) to finish first in scoring offense and defense.

Best team of all time?  One would certainly think they deserve to be in the conversation.   

In any event, providing a really nice vibe heading into the Reunion weekend.

BTW, here's what you get when you watch a lacrosse game -- or frankly, any sport -- with me:

Don't those lacrosse helmets look a lot like the creature's skull from Ridley Scott's "Alien" franchise?  Which begs the question -- did the native Indians really invent this sport?  I think not.

Not even NBC gives you that kind of incisive, thought provoking commentary.  (Though I'm pretty sure Al Brunett does -- which is why I like watching games with him.)

Pete Bevacqua
.  You had me at 'English major.'  

So the new AD does a Q&A for our class and hits a total home run.  There's always the danger of one reading too much into it when a new hire "wins the press conference" and then fails to deliver... but it's hard not to believe that the school nailed this hire, a guy uniquely suited for keeping ND competitive during a rapidly changing landscape where media dollars are driving seemingly everything.

Smart, personable and poised (witness his deft defusing of the transgender issue where the questioner had no real interest in an answer).

Now he has yet to face the inevitable grilling from Cincotta about recruiting missteps -- so there is at least one more box for him to tick before we fully anoint him.  But damn, great impression so far.

Special shout out to Messrs. Flaherty & Castellini for arranging this - very special for our class to have that level of intimate contact with him.

Writer's Panel.  First off, big thanks to several folks who made this happen and allowed me to participate:  Barb (who thought up the idea), Jerry Perez (best bud and partner in moderating who developed the set up deck and helped craft the discussion guide) and the three participants (Jeni Joy Madden, Joe Carey and Our Man Gruley) - the fact is, that latter group didn't really know what they were walking into with two aspiring game show hosts firing any level of inane queries at them.  True courage.

Moderators track down famed reclusive author Thomas Pynchon. Have to settle for Gruley.

And an equally heartfelt thanks to all who attended, especially those where the topic may not have been exactly in their wheelhouse.  Speaking for Jerry and myself, we had a ton of fun.  And in the spirit of 'no good deed goes unpunished', we're already anticipating a call back five years hence -- though we're not gonna come cheap -- and have already begun workshopping panel topics:

Engineering Major Panel -- "The Mystery of Fluids Mechanics -- Solids Tricky Friend" 
  • Drawing on the creme de la creme of our class's Engineering brainpower, we have them talk about their keys to success (e.g., counter intuitive study habits) while unlocking the secrets of higher level engineering performance.
    • Target panelists:  Ungashick, Lindon, Sullivan, Brunett, Marcel
Pre-Professional Major Panel --  "Light Bulbs, Gerbils and Other Unanticipated Extractions"
  • Taking a walk down memory lane, we draw upon some of our class's most articulate medical professionals to engage, enchant and amuse us about their most interesting and (HIPAA compliant) cases.
    • Target panelists:  Drs. Spittler, Brooks, Mackrell and McGuire
      • Tools Beer to be provided

Accounting Major Panel -- "The Audit:  Necessary Due Diligence or Poor Man's Lobotomy?"
  • Having the panelists regale us with anecdotes of their years as entry level Big 8 Firm auditors, we'll delve into their 'tricks of the trade' (like staying awake) and the hijinx they got into as they climb the professional ladder.
    • Target panelists:  Cincotta, Raymond, Wills, Scanlon

English Major Panel -- "How To Drink Like A Writer"
  • Drawing on the rich historical spectrum, we compare and contrast the role of alcohol in driving some of history's great literature across a variety of cultures -- from the Irish (Joyce, Wilde) to the Russians (Tolstoy, Dostoevsky) to the Paris expats (Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald).
    • Perez and I might be panelists for this one.  Gruley definitely will be. 

Speaking of writing, I offer two additional letters for your consideration -- both humorous (one more obvious that the other):

I.  John Steinbeck writes to Marilyn Monroe(Who knew Mr. Grapes of Wrath was this funny?)

II.  The Klan writes to the President of Notre Dame.  ND Magazine recently wrote an article about the 100 year anniversary of the time Notre Dame students taught the Klu Klux Klan the meaning of the expression 'fuck around in 1925 and find out'.  And subsequently, a Klansman took umbrage at the discourteous reception they received upon descending upon South Bend:

Mike Somerville
.  Remember this name -- the stand up comic who entertained us at the Saturday night Class dinner.  Wow, was he good.   
Bravo, Mr. Castellini for bringing him back (he was good five years ago but majorly better this time).

On occasions like that, the mind reels at what a strong marketer Castellini could've been.  Who saw it coming?  Not me - after all, this is the guy who decades ago told me he liked Marketing because you could use terms like "insertions" and not get called by HR.  

But his understanding of what his target market - in this case, the Class of '79 - likes (wants? needs?) is very underrated.  

This is the section where one is reminded how fortunate we were that camera phones weren't around in the late '70s...

Football"But Jerrence, where's the football content?  That's what we pay you the big bucks for..." 

As policeman are fond of saying, "Move along - nothing to see here..."  when it comes to ND football in the offseason, that's a good thing.  An uneventful Spring is a happy Spring.   We didn't even get the raft of expected 2nd wave transfer portal defections - what's up with that?! 

Probably most notable was post-injury status of our presumptive starting QB, Riley Leonard.  For those of you suffering from post-Sam Hartman unfulfilled expectations PTSD (hey, it's a real thing), I throw out this nugget:  fully healthy, Leonard had his primary WR's* --  Thomas/ Greathouse / Mitchell / Colzie / Harrison / Beaux Collins (and CJ Carr) -- down to his home in Alabama for 'get on the same page' work.  And FWIW, he  apparently footed their bills w his NIL $.

Pretty impressive. And not because Hartman was a poor leader (he wasn't) but from the perspective of a senior transfer knowing he only has one year to make it happen and needs his WR group to do their part... it's grounds for optimism, especially when Game 1 in College Station might be the most important of the season.

*recall that Faison had a small lacrosse national championship-chasing conflict.

Buddy's Buddy

The theme for this week's Buddy award is toughness.  

Grit.  Indomitable will. 

And an Irish two-fer:  Midwest Matriarch Meets Long Island LAX God.

      1)  Kay Corrigan 

      2)  Pat Kavanaugh

Sharing a birthday - May 25th - with Fr. Ted Hesburgh, mom turned 99 last month.  Fairly unsteady on her feet, her hearing ain't great and her short-term memory even worse... 

Still she just keeps going -- seemingly fueled by an innovative (and self-designed) Chardonnay & Salad diet.

As she is fond of telling her sons, "Getting old isn't for sissies."

Not when we look at you, mom.  Now you just need to keep going through football season when your boys are back in town... and then, to your 100th birthday party next May.  We're gonna party like it's 1925.  

Fear and loathing in Philadelphia
On the other end of the age and athleticism spectrum, we've got Pat Kavanaugh.  Go back a year ago to when he played national championship Semi-final and Final games on a hamstring constructed out of rubber bands (with also, as it turns out, a broken shoulder).  


Too tough.

This year, no such luck for ND's opponents.  On a team loaded with talent virtually everywhere, he was the proverbial 'straw that stirs the drink', scoring when necessary and otherwise setting up others behind opponents' goal, looking like Wayne Gretzky passing to Jari Kurri and Glenn Anderson. 

Almost unfair. 

Now a two time National Champion and the reigning Tewaaraton Award winner -- college lacrosse's equivalent of the Hesiman -- the irony is he may not even be the best player from Chaminade HS (hello, have you met Matt Lindon?) or even his family, but I'm pretty sure he does not give two f*cks about either.  

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

Back in the day, when recruiting seemed a little more straightforward -- when 18 year olds actually had to have a passing understanding of the concept of a commitment -- Messrs. Castellini and Sullivan would crank out annual summary evaluations of the fruits of ND's labors in this area.

Both witty and insightful, often with a dizzying array of charts and graphs, it became something of an offseason  highlight -- to be looked forward to, perhaps not on the level of the SI Swimsuit issue but as a healthy break for the word-heavy drivel this blogger cranked out.

Nowadays, recruiting reporting is its own cottage industry and it's almost impossible not to have some level of awareness for who's visiting where, the # of stars attached to their profile and the real-time prognostications of their ultimate landing spots. 

Not that it even matters now, with NIL and unfettered transfer freedom.  Signing Day has become so devalued with a recruit's ability to change his mind basically the next day.   Tough to get too invested in a recruiting win when you know it's a one year 'lets see how this goes' arrangement.

Which is not to say that recruiting still isn't the lifeblood of any program - it's just a little trickier at ND, when one factors in evaluating talent and character...

Despite Marcus Freeman’s strong efforts, Notre Dame is not piling up any more five-star kids than they used to (but they do seem to be improving at the top-100 or top-200 level, along with blue-chip ratio). What specifically is different about the five-star recruits that makes them different than four-star recruits? Namely, what is different that leads to them not signing with Notre Dame? — David C.

There are plenty of reasons behind Notre Dame’s struggle to land five-star prospects, but the biggest issue may simply be scarcity.

During the past four recruiting cycles, the 247Sports Composite included 145 five-star prospects. Notre Dame signed one (Jaylen Sneed) and was seriously involved with a dozen more: Keon KeeleyPeyton BowenJustin ScottDante MooreNicholas SingletonSonny Styles, etc. That’s it. The Irish weren’t seriously involved with any of the 28 five-star prospects in the 247Sports Composite this past cycle.

If anything, people overstate how many five-star prospects are out there. Yes, people realize there are roughly 30 per class. But a big chunk of them are annually ticketed to Alabama, Georgia or Ohio State. Those three schools signed 55 (37.9 percent) of the five-star prospects in the past four cycles. Typically, prospects looking at the Tide, Bulldogs or Buckeyes aren’t looking for the same things the Irish push in recruiting. Then there’s the NIL-focused schools like Ole MissColorado, Texas A&M, Oregon, Miami and Tennessee. That group signed 25 five-star prospects in the previous four cycles (17.2 percent of the total). Again, those schools recruit from a different starting point than Notre Dame. When the Irish get involved in a recruiting against those programs, Notre Dame knows the fight doesn’t have much to do with academics or player development.

Combined, those two groups of programs — the NFL factories plus the NIL schools — are removing more than half the five-star prospects from the field before Notre Dame can really get involved. That doesn’t even get to admissions or location, with the majority of five-star prospects choosing to either stay in-state or in-region. Again, that creates a problem for Notre Dame when Indiana produced one five-star prospect in the previous four cycles: receiver Mylan Graham, who signed with Ohio State and Notre Dame could not recruit.

During that same four-year window, Illinois produced three five-star prospects: Scott (Miami), Marquise Lightfoot (Miami) and Luther Burden III (Missouri). Only Scott was a serious recruit for the Irish before he committed to Ohio State and then flipped to Miami at the end. Michigan produced three five-star prospects: Moore (UCLA), Will Johnson (Michigan) and Damon Payne (Alabama). Moore was trending to Notre Dame until he wasn’t, then transferred to Oregon after his freshman year.

For the most part, five-star prospects are making football decisions when it comes to commitments. Notre Dame hasn’t produced first-round picks like some of the other schools in play. It hasn’t won games like those schools either. And while “Choose Hard” attracts plenty of talent, it also repels some, too. If you’re viewed as a future first-round pick (i.e. a three-and-out talent), the idea of coming to Notre Dame and grinding through three years in the classroom might not be the most appealing. For those prospects interested enough to take that on, Notre Dame has to land them. Or at least keep trying.

There will be more Michael MayerKyle Hamilton, Michael Floyd and Jimmy Clausen types of prospects. There just are fewer out there than it may seem.

Source: The Athletic
June 7, 2024

Cocktail of the Month

Being a reunion-inspired blog, one can't help but be nostalgic about 1975-79 era ND sports... and associated cocktails.

Re the former, it was undeniably a Golden Age:  a football national championship, a basketball Final Four, a great hockey team and of course, the start of a fencing dynasty.

Beyond tailgaters and keg-in-stadium capers, we had Senior Bar.  And a staff tradition of ending the night with a gin gimlets.  Perhaps more than one round.  Which may have factored into my love of gin to this day -- and the issues I had riding my bicycle back to the off campus homestead and navigating that final sidewalk turn between the hedges.  

And the 'Crash' nickname was born. 

Raymond Chandler's Gimlet

There is no question that gimlets were Raymond Chandler's favorite drink.  The gin cocktail took a star-making in Chandler's penultimate detective novel The Long Goodbye, where it is mentioned 21 times throughout the pages.  Introduced to the private investigator Philip Marlowe by Terry Lennox, the gimlet arrives with an air of authoritative specificity.

"A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose's Lime Juice and nothing else," Lennox explains to Marlowe.  "It beats martinis hollow."  

To make the cocktail palatable for modern drinkers (while rumor has it Rose's Lime Juice used to be made with real sugar, today the concoction smacks of corn syrup), we've altered the ratio and introduced a bit of fresh lime.  Hopefully Lennox will forgive the transgression -- or at least forget it by the time the bottle of Beefeater runs dry.

*  2 oz.  gin
*  1/2 oz.  Rose's Lime Juice
*  1/2 oz.  lime juice, freshly squeezed
*  Lime slice for garnishing

Serves 1.

Combine gin, Rose's Lime Juice, and fresh lime juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Shake vigorously.  Strain into a chilled coupe glass.  Garnish with the lime slice.

Source:  How To Drink Like A Writer
Writing by Margaret Kaplan

 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                               Night game - accepting couch viewing bookings
16               Virginia     
23               @Army  (Yankee Stadium)       McSorley's anyone?                        
30              @USC                                     


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

Wager 2024

Under Construction 

Also under consideration:  renaming this contest The Annual Bob Jank Go Fund Me Drive, given the incidence of his winning this thing... 






















Schadenfreude of the Week.

'Tis the fallow season for schadenfreude.

Sporting-wise, nothing of great import happens this time of year: college lacrosse is over and my interest in professional basketball wanes (see below), baseball still has 100 games left to play and since the 1980's Edmonton Oilers, no one in hockey has really grabbed my attention. (A Florida team dominating that sport still strikes one as unnatural.)

Time to dig deep.

Not today, Satan!
1.  Duke (lacrosse) It wasn't just beating Duke, a team that historically, has provided plenty of NCAA tournament heartbreak for the Irish.  

It was the Irish crushing them, stepping on their neck (witness the 5-1 goal differential in the 4th quarter) by 10 goals in the ACC Championship Finals and making the Blue Devils their bitch.   

Let's call it an exorcism.

2.  Los Angeles Lakers.   I said in the last blog i wouldn't go here.  I lied.  

While I grow ever  increasingly disinterested in the NBA, there's something... necessary... certainly therapeutic ... about celebrating the defeat, in any sport, of those most entitled fanbases.  

Like Laker fans.

And now, Jeanie Buss, you're prepared to bring the mediocre Bronny James onto your team in order to keep his soon-to-be 40 year old father?  Huh.  As was stated (prophetically) at the Reunion, "what could possibly go wrong?"

3.  Pakistan.  How often does one have cause to celebrate beating Pakistan outside of a nuclear arms context?  Not often.  And when it's the single sport -- okay, maybe outside of squash -- they've dominated forever, all the better.  Not that anyone in America noticed.

Terry's Tools.

By rights, this edition's Tool section could be entirely devoted to Caitlin Clark as it's become fairly obvious from even a cursory glance at the internet that most of the world's ills can be linked to her.

Well, her and Hunter Biden.

Honest to God, can the Media please give it a rest?

And by 'it' I mean laying off 1) Clark's less than impressive start to her professional career (hello, the kid just played 40 college games, got a week off then started playing the WNBA and 2) the league's Mean Girl routine toward her (despite her driving unprecedented interest, attendance and presumably revenue for the sport).

Every time I think Humanity couldn't get any more stupid, some group says "hold my beer."   I guess I shouldn't be upset.  It's provided me an enormous amount of blog content.

At any rate...

1)  Antonio Brown.   It's been awhile, Antonio, since you said or did something worthy of calling you out.  So consider this a lifetime achievement award.

You were paid $80,000,000.  That's a lot of zero's, Antonio.  A digit which you are apparently now very familiar with.

2)  USC.  Giving new nuance to the expression "Fight On (except you, LSU)!"

One wonders whether anyone at Southern Cal -- outside of the university comptroller -- is re-thinking their joining the Big 10... that's a lot of travel against some pretty stout teams.  Flying to South Bend once every two years is one thing, heading to the midwest (and beyond) 3x a year is quite another.

USC tried for nearly 2 years to find a way out of a contract to play LSU in Las Vegas because Trojans coach Lincoln Riley didn’t want the game, multiple sources told Saturday Down South.

"No one else was in the room where it happens..."

As late as last fall, after Jen Cohen was hired away from Washington to be the new USC AD, the USC administration was still trying to get out of the game, including offering other opponents to LSU.

For USC, who's got a '24 schedule that includes @Michigan, Penn St., @Washington and Notre Dame one can understand Riley's reluctance to start off the season with a traditional SEC power, even one coached by Brian Kelly - especially as his Trojan tenure with a generational QB hasn't amounted to bubkus thus far.   

And going 9-3 isn't really gonna cut it.  


Where have I see this before?  Oh yeah, Ungie.

3)  Bryan Gillis.  For those who know the story - or were actually involved - in the 1982 tale of Mark Ungashick's "My dates don't get arrested (they do now)" experience with the South Bend police force on a ND football weekend... 

There is no proof that Mr. Gillis (the cop who chose to overreact to Scottie Scheffler's driving indiscretion en route to the PGA Championship) was the offspring of the same policeman who yanked Mark out of our car 42 years ago -- for the sin of querying why they wouldn't let us drive to our preferred parking area.

Then again, one can't say he isn't either, given the similarity of the two events.   

What we can say is Mr. Gillis's career arc is not looking too good.

4)  Shedeur Sanders.  These days, most of the enmity that I store up is, outside of politicians, directed at my narcissist ex-son in law, The Dipshit.  But if there was ever a justifiable sports-related target for actively rooting for failure, it's the Sanders family.

Gee, Shedeur, you've done f*ck all in your college career, other than make bank off of one flashy season (against questionable PAC-12 competition) and your dad's super power for self-promotion, and you're comparing yourself to Tom Brady?

Whatever controlled substance is driving that delusion, I'll have what you're having.

5)  Transgender Question Dude.   As Kay Corrigan would say, "there's a time and a place for everything."  

So for the (Class of '82?) clown who stood up at the Pete Bevacqua Q&A, asking him about the role of transgender athletes in college athletics (a reasonable question that was never going to get an appropriately nuanced answer in that forum) then interrupted Mr. Bevacqua two? three? times in order to pontificate on his own, strongly held views on human biology -- before stomping out of the room, muttering "cowards!"... 

I suggest this:  seek professional help.  Your overdeveloped narcissism has reached a tipping point.  

Although I do thank you for the resulting ongoing humor your outburst fueled for the rest of the weekend.

Name of the Month

Objectively, the current Nominee's name should also qualify for the rare "No Self-Esteem Issues In This Family!" award.

Although there's a reasonable chance at some point in the young man's adolescence, he must've thought to himself, "Mom really didn't do me any favors when she named me..."

And as an undrafted free agent, making the Packers (or probably any NFL team) is looking like a long shot.  

Still, you'll always be a winner on these pages.

Final Thought

And there are more I remember
And more I could mention
And words I could write in a song
But I feel 'em watching
And I see 'em laughing
And I hear 'em singing along...

As many of you saw at the Reunion Class Mass, the number of classmates who have passed is approximating 90.  Sounds like a lot.  And yet, someone showed me the Class of '74's list - it ran four pages with two columns each page.  So this trend is never getting better.

Many of our class's deceased I did not know.  But many of the most recently passed are ones I did know -  and whom I called 'friend.'  

Remembering one of them, Kevin McKenna:

When I was going to law school my dad bought me a book titled The Book of Laws.  It wasn’t a legal treatise, but rather a book of quirky things people said that were taken and turned into “laws”.  

For example, a now forgotten football player had the Law of Football: “When we lose my wife knows that I want to be alone, but when we win I jump on her like a fumble”.    

The Law of Basketball quoted the great Marquette player Dean Meminger (“Dean the Dream”) who said “If you don’t play ball, you can’t hang out”.  

Kevin and I loved that quote.  

Fast forward a couple of years to when Kevin and Annie got married.  In the days prior to the wedding we played a little ball, and in fact had a couple of photos taken of the groomsmen and groom in their tuxes with a bball.  For weeks after the wedding I was trying to get a copy of that photo so I could frame it with the Law of Basketball inscribed on the frame, and give it to Kevin.   But he kept putting me off, and I finally found out why -- he sent me the photo framed with the inscription about a month later.  

The son of a bitch beat me to it.  I still have it 40 years later. 
Bill Brittan

Thanks, Bill.   Rest in peace, Kevin.