Goodbye And Good Riddance

This is probably my last post of the year. I had thought about writing a Throwback Thursday post discussing the last Number One single of the 1960s (Someday We’ll Be Together by Diana Ross and the Supremes), but that seemed frivolous.

2021 has been an awful year. Globally, the growing political and social polarization of the US and the persistence of the damn virus have made this an ugly year. By the way, in my mind there’s no doubt that, in the ancient tradition of negativity sells, the media harps on bad headlines and exaggerates the bad news.

Personally, this has been a bad year with the death of my wonderful wife’s mother in late October and then my wife’s cancer diagnosis in early December. With two trips to the ER in November, this hasn’t been a great year for me, either, in terms of health.

I am not naive; I do not expect a better year in 2022, even with my wife’s impending retirement. Still, I am glad that 2021 is about to end.

Goodbye and Good Riddance, 2021!

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Another sad event this year was the recent death of John Madden. Yesterday, I watched the documentary about his life, All Madden, that aired on Fox Sports. It was first aired on Christmas, which turned out to be just three days before he died.

It was a great program and I became emotional more than once. I recall a story about Madden (not told on the show): about 20 years ago he was in my former hometown of Baltimore for a game. He had become enamored with a crab soup served at a particular restaurant there. The restaurant management knew he would want to eat there after the game so they stayed open.

Madden arrived and ordered the soup, but nothing else. He chatted amiably with everyone on the staff and left the waiter a $100 tip. The fame and fortune didn’t seem to spoil John Madden.

Once again: RIP, Coach.

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With the mad (and in my opinion, ill-considered) dash to EVs, even automobiles are less of a source of comfort than in previous years. I remain convinced that much of the motivation of General Motors and Ford for the sea change is those in charge at those companies see the dramatic increase in the price of Tesla stock over the past five years and want to make that happen for their stock.

Do you know that China has established a de facto monopoly over the supply of cobalt in the Congo? Do you know that the Congo has most of the world supply of that element, which is crucial in the manufacture of batteries? Do you really want to leave our transportation infrastructure in the hands of China and the Congo?

For the nth time, blind adherence to any ideology is never a good thing. To end 2021, a picture of my first car as an homage to my father who purchased the car for me and who lit the spark for my automotive fandom.

 

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RIP, Coach

Legendary NFL personality and Hall-of-Famer John Madden died today at age 85. His death resonates with me a great deal.

I loved watching games called by him and long time partner Pat Summerall. I think many, if not most, NFL fans under the age of 40 don’t realize what a successful coach Madden was. Hired as a head coach at age 32, the Raiders compiled a 103-32-7 regular season record during Madden’s ten seasons in charge and won the Super Bowl following the 1976 season.

One of my favorite Madden memories, and one of the biggest laughs I’ve ever had, came during what I think was a preseason game before Madden was elevated to the Number 1 football broadcast team for CBS in 1981. A team was attempting a field goal and the kicker was bent so far over at the waist that the upper part of his body was parallel to the ground. Madden boomed, “Look at that guy. Look how bent over he is! I guess he has to smell the ball before he kicks it.” I became hysterical, laughing so hard that I developed hiccups.

I never met him so I have no idea if he was as down to earth as he seemed. I have never read or heard anyone say anything bad about Madden.

RIP, Coach…

 

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