Monday 27 September 2021
I have neglected to mention the Miami Dolphins so far this Football Month, and it was an intentional oversight.
They're not very good.
The offensive line is living down to their name, and as a result, second-year starting quarterback Tua "If He's Not Injury Prone, He's At Least Injury Familiar" Tagovailoa has hurt his ribs and is on Injured Reserve until at least week 6. After a feel-good win against the Patriots, a weak offense has resulted in a shutout defeat by the rising Buffalo Bills and an overtime loss to the Las Vegas Raiders (which despite being nationally televised, I barely saw because, you know, hospital stuff).
If the Bills keep winning to claim the NFL AFC East division, and there's plenty of reason to think they might, the Dolphins are already all-but-eliminated from the playoffs after just three games. Only 7 AFC teams will make the playoffs: 4 division winners and the next best three. Will the Dolphins fare better than the Chargers, Ravens, or Browns, all of whom are off to better starts? If so, they'll also have to be better than the Patriots, Chiefs, Steelers, and Texans, all of whom also have 1 win in 3 games.
I'd say the Fins look less Top Seven and more Deep Six. But that's Dolphins football for you.
Saturday 25 September 2021
Dad has been in the hospital since Tuesday.
His colectomy surgery to address lingering problem from his 2018 diverticulosis episode had originally been postponed because the hospital was full of COVID patients (but they later found room after calling in support from the National Guard). Measures designed to prevent the further spread of COVID within the hospital mean that he is allowed only one visitor per day. COVID is stretching hospital resources so thin that staff have been forced to leave Dad lying on soiled sheets because clean and sanitized sheets were not immediately available.
One thing I cannot blame on COVID is Dad's hallucinations, presumably resulting from a combination of medications and lack of sleep. In the midst of a waking dream, he removed all his catheters and drips and tried to tear out his drain. This last bit may have damaged his sutures. He's now subject to a more robust watch by the nursing staff
, which in practical terms doesn't mean as much as it might because the staff is already overtaxed tending to patients suffering from COVID*.
The point here is that I'm finding it increasingly difficult not to be rationally furious at every idiot who has participated in extending this fucking pandemic that for 18 months and counting continues to make life both more difficult and more perilous for everyone on the planet.
As I waited to pass screening into the hospital yesterday, the lady working the front desk was trying to be apologetic about the hospital's restriction procedures. "Numbers have been going down the past two weeks. It may be over soon," she said. I said, "I've heard that before." She gave up trying to make small talk with me, a lesson everyone should probably take to heart, at least until we can all talk to one another safely without masks on.
*UPDATE: I've been sitting in the hospital room all afternoon, and the staff couldn't be nicer or more attentive. I should not impugn their Herculean efforts. The COVID era sucks for them, too.
UPDATE 2021-09-26: Today, Dad developed a case of hospital delirium and escaped from the hospital on foot. Full credit to the entire staff, including the nurses who were bowled over by a fleeing, bow-legged senior citizen and the security guards who peacefully returned him to his bed. I mention this so specifically because the hospital staff continues to do a great job under the most trying circumstances. (Personally, I would have let him just keep running, which is the best argument for why I should never work in a hospital.)
Thursday 23 September 2021
Peanuts by Charles Shulz for September 23, 1975
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Monday 20 September 2021
Saturday 18 September 2021
Twitter very helpfully reminds me that today is Batman Day 2021. Explains the site: "Fans pay tribute to the DC Comics superhero on Batman Day, which is celebrated each year on the third Saturday of September." The only problem with that description is that it is not true.
Maybe Batman Day is held on the third Saturday of September since 2018, but it wasn't always. As I have documented elsewhere, Batman Day has been all over the calendar since it was first recognized in July 2014. But that's not the part I'm really bothered by.
The word "fans" in that description is misleading, unless you'd describe the corporations who own the Batman intellectual property as fans. Unlike Star Wars Day, which began as a genuine celebration of its source material before being taken over as a marketing exercise by The Walt Disney Co., Batman Day has never been anything other than a marketing exercise by WarnerMedia.
I wonder if whoever crafted that description for Twitter wasn't having a little fun with the wording. The phrase "pay tribute," which has come to mean a figurative giving of praise, was originally meant quite literally. A tribute is a tax levied on conquered peoples. Give your thanks (and dollars!) to your corporate masters, Bat-fans!
Which is not to say that I don't like Batman or think it's uncool to say how great the Caped Crusader is. I'd just like a little honesty in why we chose today to do it, is all.
Batman #119, October 1958
Honesty! It's what Batman would want.
Friday 17 September 2021
A poll earlier this week showed former UGA running back and current U.S. Senate candidate for the state of Georgia Herschel Walker leading all other Republican primary candidates with an estimated 75% support of voters surveyed. That's a lot, especially for a guy who has never held public office, hasn't made any public statements about what he plans to do if he held public office, and hasn't even lived in Georgia for the past decade.
Hershel is a legend in this state, and rightly so, for carrying the University of Georgia to its (most recent) national title in 1980. He was truly a great running back and deserves all possible accolades for his performance on the field. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I don't think that alone qualifies anyone for political office, at least not until Congress decides that the only way though its political gridlock is physical violence on the gridiron.
Seventy-five percent of one party is a lot, but I wonder if Hershel's support might not be even higher if he wasn't personal friends with Donald Trump. The two go way back to Hershel's time in the United States Football League. Hershel was the star player on the team that Trump bought then promptly ran out of business. What a way to earn a guy's eternal loyalty!
(Immediately after buying the team, Trump tried to hire coach Don Shula, the only coach with a perfect NFL season, away from the Miami Dolphins. As a negotiating tactic, Trump made the mistake of trying to pressure Shula via the press. A resentful Shula stayed with the Dolphins to become the winningest coach in NFL history; America elected the bad negotiator to the presidency.)
As a Bulldogs fan, it bothers me to say that I would vote against Hershel. I think, aside from his misguided allegiance to a disgraced former president, he's probably a decent enough fellow. But I don't think "decent enough" qualifies anyone for political office either, even if you couple it with great athleticism.
Wednesday 15 September 2021
Happy 60th Birthday to The Greatest Quarterback Ever to Play the Game of Football.
Gold only ever goes up in value!
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Monday 13 September 2021
We interrupt this football and Batman month to review the following movies brought to you by the letter "S":
105. (1964.) The Salzburg Connection (1972)
The big question for most if this slightly-better-than-pedestrian spy thriller is whether or not the protagonist is actually a spy. It's not a complete waste of time if you like the genre (and I guess I do), but it's not exactly destination viewing, either. Honestly, almost everything about it feels like a missed opportunity to do something better.
106. (1965.) I Found Stella Parish (1935)
A melodrama about a woman running away from her past and the reporter who feigns a romantic interest to get her story. I watched it in the wee hours of the morning on TCM, and I really can't explain why I enjoyed it (sleep deprivation?), but I did.
109. (1968.) The Suicide Squad (2021)
I do not like the DC Comics character Harley Quinn, and after finally seeing her on screen in this movie, I can say that I like her even less now. (Based on the advice of my friends, I have deliberately not watched any of the movies Harley has been in before this one. Based on her role here, let me say that I have good friends.) If Harley wasn't in this film, it would be an instant classic, but her incredibly violent, absolutely unnecessary subplot left such a bad taste in my mouth that I couldn't enjoy the movie's final act. Ugh.
Some things cannot be washed down with a Coke.
111. (1970.) Seven Keys to Baldpate (1947)
It's a murder mystery comedy of errors! I didn't know it while I was watching, but the play this movie is based on has apparently been filmed 6 other times! This is the only comedic interpretation, and I enjoyed it. (Did I enjoy it enough that I want to watch it 6 more times? Only time will tell.)
More to come.
Saturday 11 September 2021
UGA is playing their home opener today versus UAB. ESPN was late switching to the game, and by the time they did, UGA had already scored their first touchdown, essentially winning the game before any television audience was looking. Thus reinforcing why, if you really want to watch a football game, the best way to do it is be in the stadium.
Assuming it's not the middle of a pandemic.
Obviously, I'm not there. I told you why I wouldn't be going earlier this month. The statewide COVID-19 infection numbers haven't improved significantly in the past two weeks, and if you are wondering why, I suggest you take a look at the pregame pictures posted by the student newspaper, The Red And Black where the only people wearing masks*... are in the band. You know, the group of people who actually have to use their mouths.
*Ok, I admit it. I saw one person wearing a mask who was not in the band. So, yeah, technically I'm a liar, but I'm still not going to the game.
Friday 10 September 2021