Tag Archives: Adrian Peterson

Censorship of books again, really? “To Kill A Mockingbird” in the crosshairs. “Jeopardy” star Austin Rogers does a turn on Fallon, and it’s great. And the Jets get screwed by the refs, but probably would’ve lost to Pats anyway

Every few years or so, it seems we have to go through this. And every few years, I feel like it’s so important.

Thousands of fantastic works of literature are found objectionable by school-board bureaucrats in small (or large) towns across the country, and students in these districts are denied the opportunity to be challenged, to learn, to question, and most of all, to expand their minds.

This weekend I heard about censorship happening to maybe my favorite novel of all time, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Yes, boys and girls, the people of Biloxi, Miss. decided to remove this amazing novel by Harper Lee from the 8th grade reading list at the local middle school.

Why, you might ask, is “TKAM” no longer suitable? According to the vice president of the Biloxi School Board, Kenny Holloway, “There were complaints about it. There is some language in the book that makes people uncomfortable, and we can teach the same lesson with other books.”

Language that makes people uncomfortable. Of course we all know what he’s talking about; racially charged words and deeds in the book have been discussed for years.

But removing books because of “language that makes people uncomfortable?” That’s the whole point of reading, especially when you’re young! I read all kinds of books that made me uncomfortable. Ellie Wiesel’s “Night” made me uncomfortable. Parts of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” made me uncomfortable. So, so many other fantastic works I’ve been exposed to have made me unsettled, or angry, or questioning.

That’s the whole point of books! Ugh. Biloxi, Miss. won’t be the last school district to make this kind of idiotic decision.

**Next, I don’t know about you, but in my house we’ve been kinda obsessed for the past few weeks over “Jeopardy!” champion and ultimate strange dude Austin Rogers. A bartender from New York City (OK so that was the first reason I liked him), Austin won more than $400,000 in 12 games and was unlike any other contestant I’d ever seen. He dressed loudly, made strange pantomine gestures every time he was introduced, and generally acted like the crazy uncle you see at Thanksgiving every year who knows everything.

Anyway, I loved this dude. I’m sure in real life he’d drive you nuts, but for a few minutes on “Jeopardy!” each night, he was fabulous. Anyway, Austin’s run ended last week and he went on Jimmy Fallon to talk about it, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

**And finally today, I’d love to tell you that I didn’t get my hopes up for a Jets win over the Patriots Sunday, but after the boys in green and white took a shocking 14-0 lead in the first half, I kinda did.

And what was surprising was not that the Jets lost, because that’s what I usually expect when they play the Patriots. But the way they lost, and the absolutely egregious, horrendous, pathetic replay overrule that cost them a touchdown, well, that was new.

Go ahead and watch this clip of Austin Sefarian-Jenkins scoring a touchdown, have it be called a touchdown, then overruled inexplicably, and tell me this is the correct call. Absolutely ridiculous. Somehow, this was ruled as a fumble out of the end zone.

— So I guess Adrian Peterson has something left in the tank still, huh? Wow. What a game in his first one as an Arizona Cardinal.

— The Giants finally won, the Chiefs finally lost, and there are no really great teams in the NFL this year. So much mediocrity, that I think 10-12 teams could legitimately win the Super Bowl.

— On “Sunday Night Football” Al Michaels said the Giants “are coming off a worse week than Harvey Weinstein.” Oh, Al. What a horrible, stupid and cruel joke.

— Aaron Rodgers is probably out for the season with a broken collarbone, destroying Packers hopes (and the hopes of my fantasy team, for which he starred). If only there was a QB out there they could call, a free agent who had a terrific season last year but is being blackballed by the NFL for daring to speak out. Name is Colin, something or other.

My Jets return to Earth, and stink it up. Why a friend’s kid’s bat mitzvah made me feel really old. And the great Stevie Wonder does carpool karoake

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(Maybe it’s just because I live in New York City, but the above Photoshopped pic cracked me up something fierce. This past 72 hours in NYC has been all about the Mets and the pontiff, so combining the two was just hilarious. Well done, Internet people.)

Well that was pretty much what we expected.

If I told you a month ago the Philadelphia Eagles would come into the Meadowlands Sunday and wipe the floor with the Jets, you’d have agreed and not blinked an eye.
And that’s exactly what happened (don’t let the final score of 24-17 fool you, it wasn’t close.) Except it did seem a surprise to many since my beloved Gang Green started 2-0, and the green and white team just up I-95 surprisingly started 0-2.
But you know, Sunday things returned to normal. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw the ball way too much since the Jets fell behind 24-0 before halftime, and when Ryan Fitzpatrick throws a lot, bad things happen, like three INT’s (though two weren’t his fault).

Philly scored a bunch of points off Jets mistakes, like Brandon Marshall trying the dumbest lateral in decades, the Jets tried to rally, but fell short.

Look, I wasn’t getting crazy when the Jets were 2-0. But this was a very winnable game, and they blew it. Sigh. Glad I only watched highlights (see below for explanation).

More quick-hit thoughts on NFL week 3:

— The Oakland Raiders have two wins, the Baltimore Ravens have zero, after three weeks. Raise your hand if you saw that coming. Again, this is why you should NEVER gamble real money on the NFL. Because no one knows anything.

— Jacksonville vs. New England isn’t fair, and will never be fair, really. Like varsity against JV.

–I think the Buffalo Bills might be a playoff team. That defense is scary-good. Then again, Rex is their coach, so who knows…

— I just watched highlights of the games Sunday, and I swear tackling is as bad as it’s ever been. Does every defender have to go for a huge hit on every play?

— I think an Arizona vs. New England Super Bowl would be crazy high-scoring and all kinds of fun. The Cardinals (led by Carson Palmer, below) are just shellacking people right now. And Larry Fitzgerald, who I had on my fantasy team for years, thanks for coming back to life the one year I don’t have you.

— Are we all supposed to cheer Adrian Peterson again now, as so many millions seem to be doing? And we forget about him beating his child with a tree branch? Just checking.

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**Next up, Sunday I had one of those experiences where I really, really felt old. I turned 40 last month, and I rarely feel it. Except for Sunday.

In a fact that’s still kinda unfathomable to me, my wife and I have friends who have a daughter old enough to be bat mitzvah’ed. These are people she went to college with, the same age as us, and somehow they have a 13-year-old kid.

Anyway, the bat mitzvah was Sunday, and I expected it to be a blast, not just because it was at the same synagogue where Shelley and I got married two years ago.

The food was fabulous, just as good as it was at our wedding, only this time I got to enjoy it without having to hug and kiss and greet 200 people.

But it was a party clearly designed for 13-year-olds. The music was unintelligible to me, it was incredibly loud, and there were hordes of hormonal teenagers swarming the place and bumping into everyone. Surprisingly to me, the DJ played all the same bar mitzvah games we played in 1988 (complete with glowing headbands and the classic “Coke and Pepsi” game).

I felt 100 years older than these kids. To them, I was just some old dude who was clearly friends with Sarah’s parents, someone to be ignored or patronized.

We had a good time. I just felt really, really ancient. Thankfully, not too decrepit to enjoy the maple-drizzled sweet potato fries at the cocktail hour (best thing ever).

**Finally today, chalk this one up to Daddy Brain: I had this clip of the legendary Stevie Wonder appearing on James Corden’s fantastic “Carpool Karaoke” segment on his show all ready to roll for Good News Friday last week. Then I forgot about it. (see above post about me getting old).

It’s definitely worth your time, and almost guaranteed to give you a smile on this Monday.

A few thoughts on NFL owner idiocy. John Oliver brilliant on the Scotland independence debate. And a dude races the London Tube.

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So with all the personal excitement in my life last week with the baby arrival and all, I realize I’m a little late in commenting on maybe the worst week in NFL history.
Between the Ray Rice beating his wife video, the details of Greg Hardy’s abuse coming out, and Adrian Peterson acting unconscionably by beating his 4-year-old son with a tree branch, it’s been a period of time where anyone and everyone has criticized NFL commish Roger Goodell, and the culture of this behemoth league.

The one thing that’s struck me that I don’t think has gotten enough attention is just how incredibly out of touch and lacking in common sense and decency NFL owners seem to be.
Specifically, three who were in the spotlight this week: Steve Bisciotti (above left), the Ravens owner who had the audacity to say that if his organization’s complete bungling of the Rice discipline leads to greater awareness of domestic violence, than it’ll all have been worth it. Seriously, that’s basically what he said.

Then there was Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, who tearfully claimed that domestic violence was a hugely personal and important issue to him, yet allowed his franchise to suit up a linebacker, Hardy, who had already been convicted on domestic abuse charges, during the Panthers’ Week 1 game (he’s since been inactive.)

And finally, there’s owner Zygi Wilf up in Minnesota, who has decided that Adrian Peterson, who has had multiple child abuse/dangerment charges filed against him, only has to sit out one game despite his recent indictment. (Wednesday update: The Vikings indefinitely suspended Peterson Wednesday morning.)

As Keith Olbermann repeatedly, and devastatingly repeats in this blistering commentary, “A little boy was putting up his hands, trying to stop a professional football player from hitting him with a small tree branch.”

And yet Wilf thinks it’s fine for Peterson to play Sunday.

Three extraordinarily rich and successful men, who apparently are so isolated in their ivory tower that common sense and decency have flown so far over their heads. Three men who have so much power, power to do good, and yet obsfuscate and excuse the despicable behavior of men whose paychecks they happily sign each week.
You want to blame Roger Goodell and rake him over the coals? I’m with you.

But these owners have plenty of power themselves, and yet they shrink from doing the right thing, all in the name of winning football games.

Just pitiful.

**John Oliver has had so many memorable segments during his debut season of “Last Week Tonight,” it’s hard to pick a favorite.

But this one he did on Sunday, about Scotland’s huge independence vote coming on Thursday on whether to secede from the UK, was maybe the best one yet. The line about Mel Gibson and Braveheart alone (at :51) slayed me so much I had to pause the DVR so I wouldn’t miss the next line: (By the way, if Scotland secedes, does Andy Murray’s Wimbledon title last year still count as a British guy ending the enormous title drought?)

**Finally, in the category of “What kind of a brain comes up with a challenge like this?”, I present the guys from Epic Challenges, who decided to race the tube in London from one stop to another, by sending a man out of the station on foot and trying to beat the train to the next stop.

Mesmerizing, and oh so cool…

Christmas lights season is here, and hooray for that. The Jets, shockingly, are in a playoff race. And a monkey gets lost in IKEA

I love the holiday season as much as anyone, and one of my favorite things to see are the awesome holiday light displays. Sadly, living in Manhattan now there aren’t too many nice ones to see around here, besides that big tree up in Rockefeller Center.

Might have to get myself to Queens or Long Island soon to see some of the houses that always made December so cool.

Meanwhile, here’s a beautiful display I saw on YouTube that ought to get you in the spirit of the season.

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**I watched Sunday’s Jets-Jaguars game with a strange feeling of detachment, one I don’t usually get during Jets games.
I wanted the Jets to win, but I wasn’t rooting that hard. I am fully convinced this team needs to be torn down and re-built, and that includes firing the GM and head coach Rex Ryan.
And I’m afraid that if they play just well enough against crappy teams these past four weeks, and Mark Sanchez doesn’t completely implode, owner Woody Johnson will keep everybody around.

And my fear is coming true. For the second week in a row, the Jets didn’t so much as a win a game Sunday. They merely played less shitty than their equally-terrible opponent. Jacksonville was really, really bad in a 17-10 Jets win, and the Jets played one good quarter (the third) on offense.
Basically, the strategy was run, run, run, and don’t let Sanchez pass, because when he drops back, bad things happen (He fumbled yet again. Wouldn’t you think this doofus, who fumbles SO much, would be EXTRA careful with the ball when he’s standing back there? Wouldn’t it make sense for him to put two hands on the ball? Just wondering).

And even worse for us Jets fans who want to see the whole thing ripped up, they’re actually back in the playoff race. Pittsburgh and Cincy both lost, meaning Gang Green is only one game out of a playoff spot with three games left.

This team is too awful to get into the playoffs, I’m quite sure (especially when Ryan refuses to dress last week’s hero, Greg McElroy, and has an injured Tim Tebow as the Jets’ backup QB). But stranger things have happened.

Some more NFL thoughts on another wild day…
Since the Jets game was mind-numbingly boring, I watched a lot of the Redskins-Ravens. Hell of a game, especially the last five minutes. RGIII is one hell of a player, but if he’s hurt for any length of time, ‘Skins won’t be making the playoffs.
— Does every Indianapolis game come down to the last two minutes, or it just seems that way? Andrew Luck throws way too many INT’s, but he is a special player.
— On a personal note, DeAngelo Williams, welcome back to life. Been killing my fantasy team all year, but I started him this week in a playoff game (believe me, I had no better options) and he and Carolina came up huge.
— Adrian Peterson is unbelievable. To be approaching 2,000 yards rushing less than a year after major knee surgery is unheard of.
— Had Cowboys fans on one side of me, and Redskins fans on the other at the bar Sunday. Needless to say, they weren’t cheering at the same time.

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**Finally, this is another reason I’ve got to hang out at IKEA more. At one of their stores in Toronto, a monkey wearing a mini-shearling coat and diapers (of course) was spotted in the parking lot.

The owners, who were shopping in the store at the time, have come forward to claim the monkey, Toronto Police Sgt. Ed Dzingala told CBC News.

I have so many questions: Why are you taking your monkey to IKEA, so he can sample his new cage in the store? Does he have a great decorating eye? And do you think the monkey was looking for a car to boost, or just didn’t feel like waiting for his family to pick out a new mahagony desk?