Daily Archives: June 7, 2012

A father and son bond over love of music. A paraplegic bowler rolls a 300. And a falsely imprisoned football star finally gets his shot

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And a happy Good News Friday to all of you.

Wanted to start today with a great essay written by my former boss at a newspaper in Florida, David Markowitz.

One of the most beautiful things in the father-son relationship is the passing on of great music. Not having become a father myself yet, I can just go off the musical experiences I shared with my dad. He exposed me to some great music (Harry Chapin and Barbra Streisand come to mind) and some “eh” music (the Neil Sedaka and Dionne Warwick tapes he’d play never really did much for me).

Music, like sports, is such an emotional bonding experience for parents, and if you’re fortunate enough to have your kid like the same kind of music you do, then, you’re especially blessed.

Dave has that blessing; his son Sam is a lover of music as well. In his always-interesting music blog this week, Dave wrote about taking Sam to a concert featuring jazz pianist Marcus Roberts.

It’s a beautiful piece about fathers and sons, and how we pass along our loves to those who share our DNA. Well worth your time to read it.

**Saw this in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” section and it immediately piqued my interest. A paraplegic in Texas named Shawn Beam did something incredible last week: He bowled a 300, and became what’s believed to be the first person ever to roll a perfect game while in a wheelchair.

Born with a pinched nerve in his neck, Beam has been in a wheelchair his whole life.

What a wonderful example of someone with every reason in the world to fail, succeeding at such a high level.

**Finally today, you may have heard about this story recently, as it’s been all over the news. A former high school football star named Brian Banks was falsely accused of rape when he was 16.

He spent five years in prison, and another five on parole (having to wear a GPS tracking device the entire time), until finally last year his accuser admitted she made the story up. (Tangent here: In college I wrote a column wondering why we always name the accused but not the accuser in sexual assault cases. I took a lot of heat for that column, but I still wonder about the double standard)

Now 26, Banks is putting his life back together, and had a tryout Thursday with the Seattle Seahawks. Far from being angry at the miscarriage of justice done to him, this is what he had to say:

“Look where I am today,” Banks said, motioning his arms toward the Seahawks’ indoor practice facility. “I thank God for this. This is a blessing. The last thing I want to do is be bitter.”

I hope he makes it to the NFL. Falsely imprisoned for five years, few people deserve to run free on a field more than Brian Banks does.


Two great sporting events on a Wednesday night. A high school refuses a kid a diploma for parents cheering too loud. And the enormous lies of Mitt Romney

We had two great sporting events going on simultaneously last night.
In one, the L.A. Kings tried to complete one of the most remarkable playoff runs to a championship of any sports team ever. They tried to win a Stanley Cup in front of their home fans, which is extremely cool and surprisingly rare.

Watching the Cup get skated around is one of my favorite moments in all of sports (see above video and try not to get goosebumps).

But alas, the bums from New Jersey (yes I’m still bitter over the Rangers’ defeat) stole a game and prevented an L.A. celebration.  It was, incredibly, only the third loss of the entire playoffs for the Kings.

It wasn’t that exciting of a game, to be frank, which is why I found myself watching much more of the second great sporting event last night.

I’ve had a man-crush on Kevin Durant since his transcendent freshman year at University of Texas; it was the single best season I’ve ever seen for a freshman. So it was great to see Durant, as nice and classy a kid as you’ll find in the NBA, lead his team to the NBA Finals for the first time, beating the San Antonio Spurs.

Truly amazing how fast this series turned; a week ago the Spurs had won a ridiculous 20 straight games and it seemed like nothing could stop them from winning the NBA title. And now a week later, they’re toast. Going home for the summer.

I don’t care if Miami or Boston wins the East, neither one of them is beating Oklahoma City. Great to see new teams step up and demand to be recognized, and I love seeing a talent like Durant getting to be on a national stage this spring.

And check out the cool video above at the :24 mark, when Durant walks over and hugs his Mom. So sweet.

**From something great to something that turned my stomach. Check this out: A high school senior in Ohio named Anthony Cornish has been denied a diploma he rightfully earned.

Why? Because Mt. Healthy High School officials said his family cheered too loud when his name was called at graduation.
Seriously, I’m not making this shit up. The school wants Cornish to do 20 hours of community service to make for the disruption caused by his family making too much noise when Cornish’s name was called.

I know this sounds like I made it up or stole it from The Onion, but click here for all the details (with video of the graduation).

What an absolute disgrace.

**Finally, I know it’s a Presidential election year, and I know candidates lie all the time, but this Mitt Romney whopper continues to piss me off. Here’s what he said the other day, brought to my attention by the great Andrew Sullivan’s blog:

“With America in crisis, with 23 million people out of work or stopped looking for work, he hasn’t put forth a plan to get us working again. Now I know we’re getting close to an election so he’ll come out with one soon, but three and a half years later, we’re waiting.”

Are you freaking kidding me, you pompous blowhard? How about TARP, and the jobs bill in January that your fellow Republicans kept voting down or even refused to debate in Congress?

Mitt Romney cannot be elected President. I keep telling myself no one this phony, this completely full of crap, could really lead the free world.

Then I remember W., and I start to shudder.