Sunday Morning Coffee — December 22, 2019 — Tidying Up For The Holidays

Time to clear the desk which is covered with holiday cards, bills and important stuff like this:

Hanukkah begins tonight. I love the description I read last week of the best way to describe the eight days of Hanukkah to today’s kids. Instead of boring them with trivial details like even though there was enough sacred oil to last only a day, the wicks of the menorah miraculously burned for eight days during the rededication of the Temple by the Maccabees after its desecration by the Syrians. Instead, put it in terms they can understand: it’s like having 10% cell battery remaining and your phone worked for eight days.

There are not three finer words from a flight attendant than “Welcome to Maui.”

Every year I watch the Army-Navy game and every year I can’t figure out who’s who.

The New England Patriots trying to steal signals from the Cincinnati Bengals is like the Republican National Committee bugging the headquarters of Andrew Yang.

The Trump impeachment was nothing more than a shoulder shrug for the stock market. All three of the major market indices opened in green the morning after the vote and finished the week that way.

And speaking of Maui, there are few things finer than watching a Maui sunset on the beach.

Andi’s birthday was Thursday. My wife said she wanted to go ice skating. I haven’t been on skates since 1967. Andi zoomed around the rink like Peggy Fleming. I stumbled around like I just got Gillooly-ed on the knees. Next year she can go alone.

A Maui sunset and a Vegas birthday skate.

Antonio Brown had a bad year. Both the Raiders and Patriots kicked the embattled wide receiver to the curb. It’s nice to read that next year will get off to a better start for him. “No more white woman in 2020” he tweeted last week. Is that singular or plural, AB?

Talk about being born before your time. In 1963 Mickey Mantle was paid $100,000 by the Yankees, the highest of his career. In 1966 the Dodgers begrudgingly gave Sandy Koufax $125,000 coming off a 26-win season. The average major league salary in those days was $18,000. This past season the ‘average’ big leaguer pocketed $4,051,490.

Game show host Wink Martindale just turned 86. Loved Wink on Tic-Tac-Dough. Jethro, Max Baer Jr., is 82. His dad, Max Baer Sr., was world heavyweight boxing champion in 1934. His uncle Jed Clampett, who barely kept the family fed until he discovered bubblin’ crude, was a millionaire.

I always had great respect for a Southern Cal education. There are parents doing time in jail for buying faux rowing scholarships that did, too. Then comes Josh Shaw who played football for USC and moved to the NFL as a fourth round draft choice of Cincinnati in 2015. Last year he played four games for Kansas City and four with Tampa Bay. This year the cornerback was picked up by Arizona but has been on injured reserve since the preseason. He’s also not very bright. Clearly bored, he opened a online wagering account with Caesars Entertainment so he could bet football in his downtime. That’s about as taboo as taboo can get with the NFL whose history of non-tolerance of its players gambling on football dates back to 1963 and the suspensions of stars Paul Hornung and Alex Karras. One of Shaw’s wagers this season was against Arizona. How did anyone find out? This USC genius filled out his Caesars account application by listing his occupation as “Professional football player.”

Shaw, Karras and Hornung. Wanna bet?

The league has suspended him through the 2020 season. Teams are not lined up to sign him. He also lost the wager he made against his Cardinals.

Unfortunately, Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t live long enough to see the day in America when relations between blacks and whites was better than relations between reds and blues.

College football playoffs on Saturday. Give me Clemson over Ohio State. Clemson, the defending champs, have been an afterthought all season and I don’t think Ohio State has played anyone of that caliber. And while I like LSU, it wouldn’t bother me at all if Oklahoma beat them. I am an Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts fan. Great kid.

The 2019 Major League Baseball season ended on September 29. The Baltimore Orioles lost to the Red Sox 5-4 that day. The NFL season has another week to run. The last time the Baltimore Ravens lost a game was also on September 29.

One hundred and twenty-eight years ago yesterday, December 21, 1891, the first game of basketball was played in Springfield, Massachusetts. History recorded the final score as 1-0 with the only successful peach basket try scored by sharpshooter William Chase. There is no record of who the teams were other than each had nine players. It’s only a guess but I’m pretty sure the team shutout was called the Knicks.

Hoops has come a long way. In case you were wondering, and I’m confident you weren’t, in this era of big NBA scorers like James Harden, LeBron, Giannis, Kawhi, Paul George and Anthony Davis, the highest scoring average per game of anyone that went on to win a title was Michael Jordan with 32.6 points a game in 1992-93.

And while we are on the subject, why can’t college kids shoot free throws?

It’s Hanukkah. It’s Christmas. It’s the New Year. It’s the perfect time to make amends with anyone in your life that perhaps you’ve wronged or wronged you. It’s an opportunity to get back that relationship that was once cherished and went astray for whatever reason. It’s a perfect time. Don’t waste it.

Thanks for sharing my Sunday Morning Coffee with me this year. If you are reading this on Facebook we are going to move to a dedicated SMC page in January. You’ll be invited. Try to contain your excitement.

Happy, safe and healthy holidays. Enjoy tomorrow’s Gasparilla Bowl.


  • Randy Birch says:

    Great reading, as usual, Roy. Thanks for the fun read. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

  • Andi Steinacker says:

    Love your writing! Happy Chanukah and all the best for the New Year.

  • Mat says:

    Great stuff as usual!
    Happy Hanukkah! Have a fantastic Holiday season!
    What are you doing January 2nd at 7:29?

  • Sally Dunlap says:

    Wonderful recap. You do make my Sunday. Happy holidays to Andi and you.

  • Fran Marlow says:

    Love all the sports facts. Happy Chanukah to you and Andi. Have a wonder New Year♥️

  • Ronald Campbell says:

    Love all of the mundane, unimportant, irrelevant facts you send our way (and the important ones). Enjoyed all of your topics & articles all year. Happy Holidays to you & your family.

  • Larry Lane says:

    Happy and healthy 2020 to you and your family.

  • Larry Nickles says:

    Roy, wishing you, Andi & family a most joyous Holiday Season!! As usual, your Morning Coffee is very insightful and yes I do remember Mantle & Koufax making $100,000 & $125,000, respectively, while my main man Blasingame was making ten or twelve thousand. And that’s tha way it was. You & Andi take good care of yourselves. Cardinals forever.

  • Howard Riech says:

    Roy, I guess all the time you had on your hands backing up Kevin Quinn in the net, did you well! Your writing keeps all your fans clamoring for your next post. You do a great job!

  • Karen Sandell-Stern says:

    I’m a convert – add me to your contact list! However, you evidently don’t value peace in my marriage, since you picked Clemson over OSU…as a hardcore Buckeye, Rick gets a little “animated” when his boys don’t win……🙁

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