Sobering Days

I was not watching last night’s NFL game between Buffalo and Cincinnati. When I checked my phone to see the current score I was shocked and saddened by the news that Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin had collapsed during the game, which led to its postponement. Apparently, Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest after making a tackle on Bengals’ receiver Tee Higgins.

I hope this isn’t a deflection or a case of whistling past the graveyard, but I have always been surprised that more, many more, players don’t suffer life-changing events on the football field. It is a very violent game. For example, researchers at Virginia Tech have measured impacts in excess of 100 g’s during a game.

Obviously, I hope that Hamlin can return to a normal life even if that means he cannot resume his playing career. I don’t know if no news is good news in this situation, but no updates on his condition have been released for at least 12 hours. My gut tells me that no news is not good news in this case.


I have to admit that I enjoyed Ken Block’s exploits in the 2-3 videos of his driving I have watched. Block, a world-famous professional rally driver, died in a snowmobile accident in Utah yesterday.

Obviously, Block was one of those people who believed that life had to be lived at ten-tenths or beyond. Many would argue that one cannot enjoy life if you’re dead. As someone who has lived more in my head than in the physical world, I must confess that my world view is far closer to the latter than to those of people like Ken Block.


From the late John McCain:


“Russia is a gas station run by a Mafia masquerading as a country.”


Along those lines, this video shows that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has not forgotten his comedic roots. Please watch.


On this day in 1926 General Motors officially introduced Pontiac at the New York Auto Show as a companion brand to their modestly priced Oakland line. GM President Alfred Sloan, in an effort to execute his axiom “A Car For Every Purse And Purpose,” began introducing companion makes. Of course, the Marquette (Buick’s companion) and Viking (Oldsmobile) did not last long and the LaSalle (Cadillac) lasted about a dozen years.

Pontiac proved to be so popular that it “killed” its parent make. Production of the Oakland ceased after the 1931 model year. From Barrett-Jackson, whose upcoming auction here in Arizona may be unattended by my wonderful wife and me, a picture of a 1926 Pontiac.




If this Hemmings article is correct, then by 1928 Pontiac production was nine times that of Oakland: 220,000 to 24,000. I guess it’s no wonder that Pontiac survived and Oakland didn’t.

No, I am not going to show the two pictures of my 1967 GTO again. They have been seen enough. As this post from May of 2018 (!) makes clear, Pontiac is the most important make in my automotive history. In all honesty, that attachment is the primary reason why I am considering the purchase of a Solstice GXP if/when I am in a position to store more cars on our premises.









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2 thoughts on “Sobering Days

  1. I think Ken Block was slowing down a bit, the most recent Gymkhana video had Travis Pastrana doing the driving.

    I believe he might have been rightly considered an “adrenaline junkie.” There are many who fall into that category in one way or another, even in small bursts. He however drank deeply from that river. He had the money to spend on his likes, and the talent to do them, so why not? I would love to have had the opportunity to drive some of his creations, even though I have 1/10th of the talent he had in what was shown in the video series. As has been mentioned in some of the stories of his death, he brought rally driving to a more prominent place in motorsports in the USA. He rallied on a professional level, and did fairly well. He brought that experience to the video series and created a wildly successful genre. I never met him, but he seemed like a decent guy, someone who you could sit for a while with and trade stories.

    Is he “gone before his time?” Maybe. My feeling is that we are all born with an expiration date, we just don’t know what that date is. I think the majority of us have “cheated death” at least once in our life, some many more. Be it a traffic incident that was barely avoided, a health issue that was caught in time or something that we know nothing about that would have altered one’s life, it just wasn’t your “time.” I know looking back over my life, at least the parts I can remember since I was 6-7 years old, I have at least 12 times where it’s a wonder I’m still here.

    I guess this is a long winded way of saying; do what you enjoy, because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.


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