Monthly Archives: August 2013

The frustration of dealing with NYC condo board. An incredible baseball throw by Jose Iglesias. And a cool Maroon 5 concert moment


I thought I knew what it feels like to be powerless. We’ve all felt it in different situations in our lives from time to time.

But what I’m learning now is the true meaning of powerlessness: When you’re at the mercy of a New York City condo board.

So my wife and I planned to look for a bigger apartment in Manhattan after we got married; life in a one-bedroom place can get pretty cramped, pretty fast, even with half our stuff in a storage locker for the past year.

Surprisingly, finding a great place to rent wasn’t that hard; it only took us a few weeks, we were able to stay pretty much in our neighborhood, and we’re doubling our square footage (always a good thing).

But alas, that was the easy part. We signed our lease, passed all the financial barometers we needed to, filled out a whole bunch of other paperwork for our new building’s condo board, and then we waited.

And waited. And waited some more. We’re told it could take up to a month for us to get final approval; today it’ll be about three weeks.

We have no idea what the condo board is doing. They could all be on vacation for all we know. They could be calling my fifth grade teacher Mr. Leeds, to ask why I fought so much that year (I was very angry in 1986. I’m not sure why.)

The point is, you as a renter have no idea when or if you’ll get approved.

Condo boards are a funny thing here in New York; people will go to great lengths to stay on their good side, and they seem to treat anyone who wants to move into their building with suspicion.

I know there’s nothing nefarious going on. I know we’re just one couple waiting on one apartment, and condo boards all across the city are doing the same thing, making people wait.

Just part of the charm of New York City, I suppose. But I’m sitting here packing and hoping, just waiting for that blessed phone call.

And I’m utterly powerless.

**Jose Iglesias is a hot-shot young shortstop who was recently traded from the Boston Red Sox to the Detroit Tigers.

I’ve only seen bits and pieces of the kid, but man he sorta seems like the second-coming of Ozzie Smith. (And I don’t say that lightly: I loved Ozzie Smith as a kid, especially when he was on “The Baseball Bunch,” a very underrated and forgotten show that I may need to write a blog post on someday. But I digress.)

Watch this amazing throw Iglesias made Monday night; I watched it three times and I still can’t believe he pulled it off.

**Finally, I love it when bands do stuff like this. Adam Levine and Maroon 5 were playing a concert the other night in New Jersey when he spotted a cute little 11-year-old girl named Rachel. At the 3:30 mark of this video, he hands her the guitar, then explains why. And gives her a free guitar lesson.

So cool. More on the story here.

Eric Holder makes right move with drug offenders and prison time. A completely ridiculous Bar Mitzvah entrance. And a subway statistic mystery solved


It’s extremely rare when the Obama administration actually does something correct when it comes to drugs.
After all, they’re still raiding legal medical marijuana dispensaries, still refusing to admit even a little bit that medical pot is really quite helpful, and show no inclination to admit that the “drug war” that’s been going on for decades is an abject failure, as we build more and more prisons and send non-violent offenders away for decades, when what they really need is treatment programs.

But hey, today I’m here to focus on the positive. Attorney General Eric Holder revealed Monday that he’s planning to significantly alter federal drug sentences.

According to this story in the Washington Post, Holder and the Justice Dpet. won’t charge nonviolent drug offenders with serious crimes that will subject them to long, mandatory minimum sentences in federal prison.

He’s also giving new instructions to federal prosecutors on how to write criminal complaints  when charging low-level drug offenders, to avoid triggering the mandatory minimum sentences.

Further, he called for the expanded use of prison alternatives, such as probation or house arrest, for nonviolent offenders and for lower sentences for elderly inmates.

“We must face the reality that, as it stands, our system is, in too many ways, broken,” Holder said. “And with an outsized, unnecessarily large prison population, we need to ensure that incarceration is used to punish, to deter and to rehabilitate — not merely to warehouse and to forget.”

This is all excellent, and long-overdue, news. I hope Holder and Justice follow through on this, and we can get legislation passed that furthers this goal.

Way, way too many people are doing long stretches in prison for carrying a tiny amount of drugs, and we all know that minorities are a disproportionate number of those locked up for drugs.

Good job, Eric Holder. Keep it up.

**Every Jewish boy in America remembers his bar mitzvah like it was yesterday. Mine was Oct. 8, 1988, and I can tell you all kinds of details about it still (my boy Pearlman enjoys, every once in a while, publishing my bar mitzvah photo on his blog. See the bottom for the beautiful visual of me in my best bar mitzvah suit).

Anyway, it’s a big deal, and should be treated as such by family and friends. But then there are people who go over the top with the celebration. I mean, way, way, WAY over the top.

Like our man Sam here, from Dallas. My cousin-in-law (that’s a thing, right?) Scott alerted me to this video above on Facebook. It’s from Sam’s bar mitzvah, and it’s possibly the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen.

It’s a Vegas lounge act and the kid looks like Liberace and it’s just, well… insane. I’m sure Sam’s a nice kid, and I’m sure his parents meant well, but I mean, don’t you think in 10 years he’s going to look back on this in horror?


**So, being a New York City resident, I ride the subway a lot. And normally, all the ads on the walls of the subway cars blend together (If I see one more ad touting the miracle healing powers of Dr. Zizmor, ace dermatologist, I may hurl).

But for the last few weeks one in particular I’ve been seeing has bothered me. It’s an MTA sign reminding you to be careful on the subway platforms, and it has the statistic: “141 people were struck by trains in 2012. 55 were killed.”

OK, first of all, that’s a hell of a lot of people to get hit by trains in New York. 141? That’s more than one every three days.
But the thing that really stuck out? 55 were killed. Which means that 86 people were hit by trains going 35 miles an hour and survived.

How the hell is that possible? I finally went looking for the answer, and found it in this New York magazine story from earlier this year.

The part about a person’s head getting hit? Wow. Not sure I’d want to live through that.

Social Security ignoring DOMA overturn, when it wants to. Coffee that can make you drunk. And an American “coaches” soccer in London


Apropos of nothing: I was writing this post while watching “Jerry Maguire” on TV Sunday night and it occurred to me that Cameron Crowe has made three masterpiece films in his career: “Say Anything,” “Almost Famous,” and the one with Rod Tidwell screaming “Show me the Money!” That’s a hell of a career right there, three masterpieces. Also I will never tire of the “Jerry Maguire” scene where Jerry starts singing “Free Fallin'” after keeping Cush. Love it. OK, on with the show…

I just think it’s great when certain parts of the federal government decide to ignore rulings and laws made by other parts of the federal government, don’t you?

As you probably know, the Supreme Court in May struck down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional and wrong, thereby allowing gay couples to gain benefits accorded to heterosexual couples.

However, check this out. According to this story, the Social Security Administration is limiting payment of claims for same-sex married couples currently to those couples who were married in a state the allows same-sex couples to marry and are “domiciled,” or live, in a state that recognizes same-sex couples’ marriages.

So basically, the rules that cover the ENTIRE U.S. only apply to you if you live in a state where gay marriage is legal, or if you were married in a state where gay marriage is legal.

The decision means claims from same-sex couples married where such couples can legally marry but who live in a state that does not recognize such marriages are having their applications put on hold for the time being.

Ridiculous. This ought to get more attention, and hopefully it will. Supreme Court decisions don’t apply only to certain states, last I heard.

**Next, this video has been around for a week or so but since it’s about soccer, I ignored it. However, enough people told me it was hilarious that I finally broke down and watched it.
And it’s fabulous. It’s an NBC promo for their new contract to air the English Premier League soccer matches, and they tapped Jason Sudeikis to do this sketch called “An American Coach in London.”

My favorite part: “How many countries does this country have?” “Four?”

**Finally today, for those coffee-holics among you, more reason to love the beverage that millions can’t live without. Apparently now researchers have found a way to turn used coffee grounds into an alcoholic beverage.

Check this story for details, but it all has to do with heating the coffee grounds in water, separating out the liquid, adding sugar, mixing in yeast cells, yada yada yada.

I think this is fabulous. Because nothing has ever gone wrong when a person is hopped up on caffeine and also drunk.

The Carolina Panthers make a boy’s dream come true. An uplifting story of a man wrongly imprisoned for 27 years. And the nature photos of the year

Happy Friday everyone. I’m a sucker for these kinds of stories, as you know, so when I heard about what the Carolina Panthers did for an 8-year-old boy named Jack Bolton, I just about melted.

Bolton lives in North Carolina and is a huge Panthers fan. He also suffers from spinal muscular atrophy, an awful genetic disease that attacks muscles in the spinal cord. He’s had the disease from birth and has never walked or crawled.

Jack’s wish was to coach the Panthers, so for one day last week, the team was his.
The whole 5-minute video is great, but my favorite parts are when Coach Ron Rivera reads Jack’s speech to the team, and when QB Cam Newton asks for his autograph.

“He’s been coaching his classmates at recess for several years and thought he was pretty good at it,” Holly Bolton, Jack’s mother, said.

“He doesn’t smile pretty much at all. And I’m trying to think of when I’ve seen him smile that big, and it’s never been that big ever,” Eleanor, Jack’s sister, said.

So good to see teams do stuff like this.

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(Another great football story today? Brian Banks, the linebacker who 10 years ago was falsely accused of rape by a school classmate and spent five years in prison, took the field for the Atlanta Falcons in a preseason game. He finally made the NFL. What a great scene.)

**Next up, a story that doesn’t have a happy beginning or middle, but has a pretty incredible ending. A very talented sportswriter named Brandon Sneed (full disclosure: he’s an “e-migo” of mine; we’ve exchanged emails from time to time) has written the remarkable tale of Billy Dillon, a one-time baseball prospect from Florida who spent 27 years in prison for a murder he had nothing to do with.

Sneed did a ton of reporting on this story, and the twists and turns had me dropping my jaw. What makes this a “good news” story, I think, is Dillon’s transformation while in prison, and his complete lack of anger toward his plight now. He seems incredibly well-adjusted in his new life, but man, what happened to him was just outright disgusting.

It’s a long story, but well worth your time. Truly an absorbing tale.

Say cheese - 2013-06-19_215332_sense-of-place.jpg

**Finally, a few beautiful photos to send you into the weekend. National Geographic Traveler magazine has announced the winners of its photo contest.

This picture above didn’t win, but I thought it was the most striking. Check out all the honorees here, to see some breathtaking beauty.

“The Invisible War” exposes military rape powerfully. Stephen Colbert dances with friends. And a terrific pro-marijuana video


I’ve written before about the awful problem of rape in the U.S. military, but I don’t think until you see the powerful movie “The Invisible War” that was released last year, you can really truly appreciate how bad the problem is.

Some of the more incredible stats in the film that chilled me:

— A female soldier in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.
— More than 20% of female veterans have been sexually assaulted while serving in the US army.
— There were 3,192 sexual-assault reports in 2011, and only 191 members of the military were convicted at court martials.
— Since 2006, more than 95,000 service members have been sexually assaulted in the U.S. military.
— Less than five percent of all sexual assaults are put forward for prosecution, and less than a third of those cases result in imprisonment.

There are more, but you get the idea. This is an enormous problem, and when you hear the stories of the women in the film, all of them sound chillingly alike: A male officer, often their direct superior, rapes them, and they’re either too ashamed to report it right away, or the authorities don’t take them seriously.
Every Defense secretary in the past 20 years has claimed they will “get serious” about this problem, and yet the reality is women in the military are still getting assaulted at a disgustingly high level.

Listen to these stories, from women like Kory Cioca, who was violently assaulted, punched in the face repeatedly, and yet is still unable to get medical coverage from the VA; there’s Andrea Werner, who reported her rape to her army superiors, only to be charged with adultery, even though it was her assailant who was married.

It goes on and on; these women suffering years and years of trauma and pain, while chillingly at the end of the movie we learn that many of the men who raped them have gotten promotions (one was even named “Airman of the Year!”).

Every American who blubbers on and on about how awesome our country and our military are ought to watch this film. It’s available here on YouTube in a few different parts, and in complete form on Netflix here.

This is not an easy film to watch. But it’s an important one, and I urge you to check it out. Here’s a website where you can support victims of sexual assault, and help donate to trauma centers that are sprouting up to help them.

**Next up, something we love but haven’t seen in a while: A Stephen Colbert dancing montage, with celebrities, to that Daft Punk song that suddenly seems to be everywhere.

Jon Stewart with a beard? Yeesh. (If the above video has been taken down, try this link here.) But the Fallon and Matt Damon parts are awesome. God bless Colbert and his craziness.

**Finally, sometimes the simplest ads are the most effective. For decades, those of us who marvel that marijuana has been so criminalized while alcohol, a MUCH more dangerous drug when abused, skates by scot-free in American culture, have wondered what it would take for people to finally see the light.

Well, here’s a 30-second ad that pretty much spells it out perfectly. Bravo the Marijuana Policy Project, for sponsoring this ad that ran at two major NASCAR races last weekend.

30 years later, the end of “Trading Places” explained. Eli and Peyton rapping hilariously. And company sends horrible message to girls

It’s always nice to have a mystery from my childhood explained to me, like I did Tuesday.
Sadly, it’s not the mystery of why my dictator-like youth soccer coach made us do 50 wind sprints one day, nearly making us pass out.
Nor is it what the hell “ALF” really was. Those mysteries remain unsolved.

However, what the heck was really happening at the end of the classic 1980s movie “Trading Places?” That has finally been explained.
Bloomberg News got Dan Aykroyd, who along with Eddie Murphy was hilarious in the flick, to explain what Billy Ray and Louis were doing to the Duke brothers at the end, during that chaotic scene on the floor of the Exchange.

Now, I finally get it.

childrensplace2**Next, I have to call out The Children’s Place, a store I’ve never set foot in, and now never will. (Hat tip to my friend Kelley Cole for pointing this out on Facebook).

This fine establishment of kids’ clothing decided to send a really horrible message to young girls with their new line of T-shirts.
Seems that it’s not cool or necessary to be smart, or do your homework if you’re a girl.

One T-shirt reads “I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother has to do it for me.” The other one, shown above, has boxes of “shopping,” “music” and “dance” checked off, while math is left blank with “Hey, nobody’s perfect” written underneath.
The fact that these are marketed to kids as young as 5 years old is revolting. I thought Abercrombie & Fitch had cornered the market on creepy tween marketing, but The Children’s Place is right up there with them.

**Finally, Peyton Manning has always killed me with his funny commercials and “SNL” appearances. But he and brother Eli may have hit a new high with this new DirectTV commercial.
Yes, that’s really them. Rapping. Go white boys, go.

“History of the Eagles” a study in genius and arrogance. An awesome subway prank. And live lacrosse, always a good time


Because it was more than three hours long, I watched the great new music documentary “History of the Eagles” in about three or four sittings.

But I realized that it wasn’t just the length of the movie that made me glad I took time off between parts.

It was the insufferable seriousness, arrogance and just plain self-importance of the band members talking throughout.
Look, I love The Eagles, you love The Eagles. I listened to “Hotel California” at least 500 times in college, I think “The Last Resort” is one of the prettiest songs ever written, and I own several of their CDs.

And this documentary was filled with fascinating material; how Glenn Frey and Don Henley grew up far apart but in similar ways, how after a few failed bands of their own they came together to form the Eagles, and of course, how after a bunch of hit records and millions of dollars made, it all came crashing down i 1980, leading to a 14-year breakup.

But man oh man, do Henley and Frey love themselves. Everything the band did is freighted with such importance, and their self-serving proclamations about making “message albums” and trying to do more than just write songs but change the world.

Fellas, you were rock stars. You were great rock stars, I love your music, but you weren’t Gandhi or Churchill.

Still, despite the pomposity of Frey and Henley, the movie was really good. You forget just how many great songs The Eagles had, and how many different socioeconomic groups their music touched.

Check it out on Showtime, pretty much all month, and on Showtime on Demand.

**If you’ve ever ridden a subway in a major American city, you’ve seen this drill a hundred times; Person gets on with a paper cup, gives you a sob story about being homeless or hungry or having 11 kids to feed, and then walks around holding the cup in your face until you throw a quarter in.

But check out this wildly different, and pretty funny variation on that from


**So one of my favorite things about my wife is her willingness to try anything once.
She’d never seen a lacrosse game, either in person or on TV. I love the sport, though I don’t have time to watch it as much as I used to (which stinks, because there’s so much more lacrosse on TV than there used to be).

So when I said “Hey, let’s go see a lacrosse game,” she said ‘Sure!'”

The New York Lizards of Major League Lacrosse played at Hofstra on Long Island Sunday night, and we happily went.

Couple things I noticed at my first live game in a while:

— First, the pro players are much, much faster than the college players, who I watch more of. So many goals were scored in the blink of an eye, before you even knew a player had shot. The passing and goaltending are also much, much better and quicker at the pro level.

— Second, I gotta admit, just like in hockey, if you’re not used to it, following where the ball is in lacrosse is hard. Shelley did her best to keep up but a few times she asked, “Wait, how did 21 just score, I thought 37 had the ball?”

— It was also very cool to see a sport so connected with kids; there were hundreds of little boys and girls with their sticks out on the field before the game, and at halftime. I only wish this sport would catch on more with adults; it’s so great to watch (and cheap to attend; our tickets were $12.)

I have an awesome quasi-celeb encounter. R.I.P., Art Donovan. And Red Sox owners buying the Globe?

Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People

This seems to be like one of those “Only in New York” kind of stories, but maybe it could happen anywhere.

So I’m sitting in my dermatologist’s office Friday, getting my second Moh’s surgery in two weeks (for the uninitiated, Moh’s gets done when they find basal cell growths on your face, the first step toward skin cancer. So they dig it out, then stitch you back up. I’ve had two in two weeks and right now I’ve got more stitches in my face than a hockey goon in mid-February.)

Anyway, so I’m sitting there waiting to get called in again (when you have Moh’s, it’s a lot of hurry up and wait) when my phone buzzes. It’s my pal Tony, and we have a quick chat about college basketball, and my love of Duke’s prospects for next year, and then I hang up after two minutes.

The guy sitting across from me in the waiting room, silver-haired and about 65 years old, says “I’m sorry, did I hear you say you’re a Duke fan?”
After I confirm, he says “Well, I’m just about the biggest UNC fan you’ll ever meet.”

I’m always happy to argue with a Tar Heel supporter, even in July, so we start amiably chatting, and I reference the ongoing NCAA investigation into UNC.
This devolves into my new friend talking about “newspaper reporters” and “tabloids” always trying to dig up dirt on people and programs, and then in what I thought was a really random reference, he said “like the National Enquirer did with John Edwards.”

“Oof,” I said, “that’s a sore subject with me. I was a huge John Edwards supporter and volunteer on his campaign.”

“Oh yeah?” he replied. “I’m John Edwards’ brother-in-law.”

If not for the fact that I was gripping the arm-rest, I would’ve fallen out of my chair.
“No you’re not!” I said to him, laughing.
“Yep, Elizabeth Edwards was my sister.”
Now, part of me instantly believes him, because who the heck would make up a thing like that? But the journalist in me was dubious, so I started gently probing him with questions, about the 2004 campaign, John’s disgusting behavior in 2007-08, his sister’s battle with cancer, etc.

And damned if he didn’t know all the answers. Over the course of a few hours, while each of us went into the Dr.’s office and then back out to wait, my new pal Jay regaled me with hilarious and awful stories of John’s schmuckiness, how he could tell “after 15 minutes of meeting her that Rielle Hunter (Edwards’ lover) was crazy,” and about how his sister felt about different people in the campaign.

I was in heaven. I was a true-blue Edwards-ite (I wrote about it here a few years ago), and here I was trading stories with Elizabeth’s brother (I Googled him and all the bio information he told me checked out)
I was all disappointed when after about two hours, I heard him leave while I was back in getting stitched up.

Only in New York. I have another appointment this Friday; I hope I see him again.

**Word came late Sunday that the great Art Donovan had died. Donovan was a Hall of Fame football player for the Baltimore Colts back in the 1950s, but he became even more famous in retirement for the hilarious interviews and talk-show appearances he gave.
I remember as a kid holding my sides I was laughing so hard, watching him on Letterman and Carson and in countless NFL Films videos.

He was a jolly guy who was a superb storyteller, and he will be missed. Here’s him on Letterman from 1988.

RedSox.JohnHenry**Finally today, a story that alternately makes me happy and frightened. Word broke Friday night that John Henry, one of the majority owners of the Red Sox, has agreed to buy the venerable Boston Globe newspaper. (He’s paying $70 million for the paper; the New York Times Co. paid $1.1 billion for it in 1993. That’s staggering)

On the one hand, it’s great that anyone is buying a newspaper these days, especially one with deep pockets and a strong connection to the region like Henry does. He’s done fantastic things with the Red Sox (as a Yankee fan that pained me to write), helping them spend enough to win two World Series in the last 10 years.

But it frightens me as an ex-journalist because now you will have the majority owner of by far the biggest team in the region, owning the biggest newspaper in the region.

Now I know full well newspapers don’t have the influence they used to, and there are dozens of other outlets who can cover the team without any appearance of conflict of interest.

But still… it makes me a little queasy. The Globe has broken tons of big stories about the Sox over the years, many of them negative. Will they still be allowed to do so?
I hope so.

The great Federer, an even better person than player. The 9-year-old drumming prodigy. And strangers chip in for a dying woman’s wedding


My family and friends sometimes get tired of hearing me gush about Roger Federer.
He’s my all-time favorite athlete, but not just because of the incredible talent that’s made him the best tennis player of all-time.

It’s his humanity. So many top athletes that I’ve seen up-close are phonies; they pretend to care about fans and “regular people” when the cameras and microphones are around, but in reality they don’t care at all.

Federer is the opposite of that. His many good deeds off the court over the years have been well-chronicled, but it’s stuff like this amazing story that also shine through.

Here’s the basic deal: A 17-year-old Maryland girl named Beatriz Tinoco had cancer two years ago, and she told the Make-A-Wish Foundation that her ultimate dream would be to meet Roger Federer.

A year passed, and Beatriz hadn’t heard anything. Then, this past June, her dreams came true. Times 1,000.
Please read her account of what Federer did for her, going SO far above and beyond what other athletes would do. It began with him flying her to Wimbledon, hitting around with her on a practice court, and just kept getting better and better after that.

When I was a boy, I stupidly admired John McEnroe, an anti-sportsman who treated people terribly.

If I am ever lucky enough to have a son, I will tell him about Federer, an absolutely glorious role model.

**Now, speaking of really talented people, let me introduce you to Briggs Akers, a fantastic drummer. Who’s still in single digits in the age category.

Dude is 9, and listen to how good he is! Here’s a fun story about how he got so good.

**To wrap up Good News Friday, a terrific story pointed out to me by my awesome mother-in-law. A 35-year-old California woman named Jen Bulik  was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in December, and doctors told her in June she had six months to live. (Wait, I promise, there’s good news in here!)
Jen’s boyfriend Jeff proposed to her last month, and when a Bay Area wedding planner heard about it, she jumped into action. Erica Ota helped arrange donations and gifts for the couple, and they didn’t have to pay anything for their wedding last Saturday, and strangers have also helped pay for her medical expenses.

Even in the darkest situations, a little joy can be found.

An intentionally-hilarious MSNBC interview about white people. My mixed feelings as Parcells goes into Hall. And grown men irrationally excited about ice cream

Sometimes, the best weapon against ignorance is not a fist, but a small tap with a feather.
I have no idea what that means, I just made it up. But my point is, sometimes the best way to break through all noise and intolerance is with a very subtle, quiet jab.
Chris Hayes is an MSNBC host, and Cord Jefferson is a guest commentator. In this brilliant six-minute interview, they stay focused, composed and serious the whole time while essentially performing something like a Monty Python sketch.

Beware, the mobs of white people, they warn us.
I thought this was brilliant.


**Bill Parcells is going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend, and I have very mixed feelings about the Big Tuna.

On the one hand, I love him for one small slice of his career. When he took over the Jets in 1997, they were a laughingstock. Check that: They would’ve had to have improved to be a laughingstock. They were 1-15 and Rich Kotite had finally been fired, and here came Parcells, riding in on his white horse from New England, where he just had taken the Patriots to the Super Bowl.

Sure, it felt a little dirty, stealing another team’s coach, and sure, Parcells’ behavior at the end in New England (basically negotiating with the Jets during Super Bowl week with the Pats) was deplorable.
But here, finally, was a reputable, big-time, proven winner to coach my Jets. We had been waiting forever for one of those, and now he was here.
And in just a couple of seasons, he had us in the AFC title game, and with a 10-0 lead at Denver before the roof caved in (Damn you Keith Byars for that fumble!).

Parcells left the Jets, and eventually coached the Cowboys very unsuccessfully. But he returned the Jets to respectability, and really, until this recent Tebow fiasco last year, they had remained there for 14 years.

Still, I can’t overlook Parcells’ many flaws. He was a bully, he was a liar (backing out of a deal to coach Tampa, then his constant declarations when he’d leave a team that “this is my last job.), and his winning percentage (.579) actually wasn’t all that great.

He’s a Hall of Famer because he won two Super Bowls and turned around three franchises (Giants, Jets, Pats), although you’d have to say that his protege Bill Belichick has had the far more successful career.

Mostly, I think Bill Parcells is a complicated person to judge. The vastly gifted writer Peter Richmond has a terrific column on Parcells up here today.

**Finally today, this was kind of sweet, I thought. Watch how the Baltimore Ravens reacted when an ice cream truck pulled up to their practice field.

Hey, if I’d been outside sweating in 90-degree heat while in full pads, I’d be dancing if I saw ice cream, too.