Sunday Morning Coffee – October 8, 2017

`Unless you’re my dad, or unless you go to bigleaguedream.com and get true value for your twenty bucks, I hate asking for money.

I’m a much better giver than receiver, especially when it comes to gifts and charity. But when Adam Cohen asks me to do something for the potential welfare of everyone, I don’t say “no” to my good pal.

My passion has become animal welfare, in particular the Greater Birmingham Humane Society.  Adam’s passion is LLS – the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – because he was diagnosed with blood cancer almost four years ago, and thanks to the miracles of medical advancement through contributions, he is now in remission.

This year he’s chairing the LLS “Light The Night” fundraising campaign, a November 9 community-wide event. When Adam asked me to be on the Executive Committee for the event, turning him down was never an option. One in three women and one in two men will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime. That statistic alone is certainly worth a few hours of my time and a few redirected dollars of residuals from Big League Dream. (Much like a Hitchcock cameo, there I go again.)

Like I said, I’m not good at asking for money unless it’s something I really believe in. LLS and their great work and research is one of those things. So if you can spare $10, $20, $25, $50 or $100 bucks, I’ll respectfully and thankfully ask you to go to my LLS page and donate. I promise we will not post individual donation amounts. That’s pretty tacky. We’ll run the donation link later when our coffee cup is getting empty. We may also run the bigleaguedream.com link again too.

And speaking of coffee, here’s some other stuff percolating this week in an old guy’s pot:

The ATM machine just turned 50. It debuted in 1967 in London. I can’t remember when I first used one but I know it wasn’t in ’67, probably not even ’97. Everyone is supposed to be able to remember their first, but I can’t.

While speaking of the 60s, did you know Bobby Goldsboro’s song “Honey” hit the top ten charts in 1968 on April 4 and fell off on June 5? Do you give a shit?

See the tree, how big it’s grown…

Two icons from the music industry.

As long as “iconic singers” is the topic, I’m ecstatic that I was chosen in the Ticketmaster lottery to buy two tickets to Bruce Springsteen’s one man show on Broadway. The setting is the intimate 900-seat Walter Kerr Theater and it’s one very tough ticket. Not as tough as Goldsboro ducat, but still tough.

Ironically, April 4, 1968 was the day Martin Luther King was assisinated. RFK was slain on June 5, 1968.

The price of the Springsteen tickets made my heart skip a beat, not something my cardiologist recommends these days. My seat allotment was five rows off the stage for $750 a clip, if I wanted them. Clearly the market has changed from my first concert experience, 1967ish, when I saw the Beach Boys, Strawberry Alarm Clock and Buffalo Springfield in the Miami Beach Auditorium. Tickets for that one were $745 cheaper. Bobby Goldsboro was not on the bill.

And shame on Todd Leopold of CNN, who in 2006, called Honey “the worst song of all-time.” Ouch!

… but friend, it hasn’t been too long it wasn’t big.

The Boss can’t write lyrics like that but I went ahead anyway and bought the tickets for the prime November date I was entitled. That immediately caused a domestic arby-darby with Andi. She wants me to sell the tickets on the secondary market so she can buy patio furniture. …I laughed at her and she got mad.

After my cinco de bypass eye-opener and what happened to the 58 innocent concert goers at Mandalay Bay and Tom Petty leaving us at age 66, I really don’t need a good reason to enjoy life’s bonus round. I plan to. Springsteen on Broadway, instead of relaxing on new patio furniture, may be part of that plan.

Professional sports (the XFL doesn’t count) makes its long awaited debut in Las Vegas on Tuesday night when the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights play their inaugural home opener on a 17,500 seat sheet of desert ice behind the Monte Carlo Hotel. The Raiders bring the NFL to Las Vegas in 2020. However, the one marriage that a Vegas wedding chapel hasn’t seen yet but is a natural, perfect, glitzy fit is an NBA team calling The Strip home.

If you haven’t watched the Seinfeld special on Netflix yet, it’s a fun sixty minutes, a lot better than …crying over some sad and silly late, late show.

And speaking of fun, I’m not sure I feel that way about twice-defrocked former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, who will more than likely become a U.S. Senator when the new Congress is seated in January. Moore is on record saying that homosexually should be illegal, that Muslims should not be allowed in Congress and 9/11 was punishment for Americans’ sins. It’s enough to make a guy turn blue.

Speaking of Seinfeld, the fortunes of New Jersey’s NFL teams so far this season brings to mind the “Bizzaro Jerry” episode – nothing is the way it should be. The Jets, who the sharpies forecast in the pre-season to win four games, have already won two of their first four and face the worse team in the league, Cleveland, today. The Giants, pre-season forecast win total of nine, have won two less than the Jets. Now the real wager is who finishes with more wins come December 31: Gang Green or Big Blue? Before this afternoon’s kickoffs, I’d reshuffle the deck and still give the Giants the edge – six wins to five.

Defrocked is a Wall Street Journal word. I kinda like it. I think Bobby Goldsboro was defrocked too.

Rex Tillerson isn’t wrong. But fingers crossed, we’ll get through this together.

I am odds-on to be valedictorian of my cardiac rehab class.

I am seven weeks post heart surgery and in the third of twelve weeks of cardiac rehab. I’m pretty sure a lifelong dream will finally come true: after seeing the cast of characters and the demographic of my rehab classmates, please feel free to call me Mr. Valedictorian.

Three weeks into cardiac rehab with my white tee shirt. I feel like a cross between Ed Norton of the Honeymooners and Lee Harvey Osward.

I’m not sure if President Trump is a Sunday Morning Coffee blog reader or not, but get word to him it’s Roy Moore, not Ray.

I’ve also been given the green light to return to my health club. On August 17th, the day before the day it happened, I was exercising on a post-graduate student level. My routine these days feels like an incoming freshman, but I’m glad to be there. In fact, I’m glad to be anywhere.

Despite Yankees manager Joe Girardi’s attempt to shun replay and speed up the game, this year baseball was as slow and long as it has ever been. Average game time was over three hours and a ball was put in play every four minutes. But it’s October and that doesn’t matter anymore. Damn, the baseball playoffs are good stuff, if we can only find what channels they’re on.

Connie Hawkins died Saturday at age 75. If you’re a kid, under 50, you most likely have never heard of him. The Hawk was the first of the New York City playground ballers, way ahead of his hardwood time. He left Brooklyn to play at the University of Iowa but after his freshman season his scholarship was revoked allegedly for his connection to unsavory individuals in a point shaving scheme. Hawkins, 6’8″ with huge hands that made a basketball seem like a grape, was two or three degrees of separation from these guys, but nonetheless he was tainted.

The Hawk palms a basketball like it’s a piece of fruit.

No other school would touch him. In 1962 he became a basketball nomad playing in the American Basketball League, with the Harlem Globetrotters and then the ABA. It was in ’62 that I still vividly remember watching him as an awestruck nine year old. He came to a dingy, freezing cold arena on Long Island playing for the Pittsburgh Rens against a team called the New York Tuck Tapers. I stood right under the basket during warm-ups to see the 19-year-old phenom. I still remember it like it happened last week. Finally in 1969 he won an anti-trust lawsuit against the NBA and became a Phoenix Sun, years past his prime. For me he was the first in the chain of guys who not only had style, but the substance to back it up. The list is short– Hawkins, Dr. J., Butch Komives, Magic, Michael and now LeBron. The Hawk was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992. He also knew every word to ‘Honey.’

And finally, organizers of Chicago’s Safe Summer Basketball League, a program designed for inner city youth, were none too pleased when a brawl broke out among players and spectators during the championship round at the United Center. Play was immediately suspended. Word is it will return next year, probably under a different name.

Okay, it’s time. Go to the link at http://pages.lightthenight.org/al/Birmingh17/rberger and contribute something, anything, in the fight to wipe out cancer. I’ll match the first dozen pledges. Victory is much closer than you think. You’ll feel better about doing this. I feel better about being involved.

Hoping tropical storm Nate is kind to us today…have a great week, thanks for the contribution and if you see Honey, please tell her that I miss her but I’m bein’ good.

 

 

1 Response
  1. Dave Pokress

    Roy,

    Don’t disparage the XFL. The football may have been bad but the NFL did adopt some things from them like the overhead mobile camera. And the ball was cool looking.

    Although I am a lifelong NY Football Giants the words Oakland & Raiders go hand in hand. It will take a while to say Las Vegas Raiders. (Showgirl cheerleaders?) Speaking of Vegas it is only a matter of time before the NBA gets over itself and puts a team there. They did have the All-Star game there a few years ago.

    Back to my bagel and orange juice.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to Roy's Blog

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.