Tag Archives: Andy Reid

The Super Bowl was very exciting! And the halftime show was stupendous! And the commercials… well, a few were pretty good.

Whew. Well that was a whale of a much better Super Bowl game than we had last year, and man am I happy for the Kansas City Chiefs.

I have no great personal connection to the Chiefs, except that a few of my friends are from there and I’m happy for them, and I do think waiting 50 years between Super Bowl wins is an awful long time to wait. So good for the Chiefs, and good for head coach Andy Reid, an outstanding football coach who lost his only other Super Bowl appearance, with the Eagles, and now gets to enjoy triumph.

Reid has had quite a bit of tragedy in his life, losing one son to a drug overdose,  and he’s always seemed to be a good man trying the best he can.

Some other thoughts from a pretty entertaining game, with thoughts on the commercials and that stellar halftime show, too.

— Patrick Mahomes, man, what a performance. He looked pretty ordinary for three quarters, his team was down 20-10, and it looked like the old adage about “a good defense shutting down a good offense” was going to be true. The San Fran defense was tremendous until the 4th, when Mahomes just made a couple of spectacular plays, with his legs on a scramble and then a downfield heave to Tyreek Hill for the first huge gain for K.C. of the night.

And the go-ahead touchdown drive was fabulous. It helps that Mahomes is such an easy guy to root for, really humble and gracious and an athlete who seems to just get it. I see many more celebrations like Sunday night’s in his future.

— The 49ers didn’t lose this game on defense so much as they stopped running the ball on offense. Jimmy Garoppolo, their star QB, was having a terrific game but so was San Fran’s rushing attack, and they went away from it in the fourth quarter when they were nursing a lead.

— That was a pretty fast game, with few replay reviews and almost no penalties. See? it can be done!

— I have no idea if the Chiefs’ Damien Williams really did score that go-ahead TD; it was so close. But I’m glad that for once they let the call on the field stand.

— I don’t want to be THAT guy, but I would feel even better about the Chiefs if they didn’t have domestic abuser Tyreek Hill on their team, letting him back despite ample evidence he injured his own child and threatened the boy’s mother. The man doesn’t belong in the NFL, period.

— So this was funny: The superintendent of schools in our town calls every school district family every Sunday night with a recorded message, and some platitudes about hard work and education and all that. This week he ended his call with “Have a great week, enjoy the Super Bowl, and may the Jets please win a Super Bowl in my lifetime.”

I laughed. Never gonna happen, my friend. Never gonna happen.

— The commercials were, as I think has been the case for years now, mostly meh. I thought the series of Tide commercials was so-so, and I have no idea what was going on with the Walmart ads. It definitely seems, as a few people pointed out on Twitter, that companies seem to think just throwing random celebrities together in the same ad will make TV magic, when most of the time it doesn’t. Those beer commercials, especially, seemed a mess.

A few of the ads stood out to me as fantastic, though. The Jason Momoa Rocket Mortgage one, with him taking off pieces of himself to make him seem old and decrepit, was very clever. I loved the Hyundai Sonata one with Chris Evans and Rachel Dratch, with the Smart Park new feature and the Boston accents and the Big Papi David Ortiz cameo.

But these two, for very different reasons, were just spectacular. First, the Google ad about the man telling the computer to remember all the little details about his wife Loretta, because he doesn’t want to ever forget, just slayed me. Had me reaching for the tissues, big-time.

And then the other one I loved was Bill Murray re-enacting his famous movie “Groundhog Day,” on Groundhog Day, 2020, no less. “Ned? Ned Ryerson?”

So damn clever.

— The halftime show was stupendous. Really, really great. I confess I’m a huge Shakira fan, for her musical talent and for her, ahem, good looks, and despite her awful choice in men these days, I have long admired Jennifer Lopez’s ability and incredible fitness.

I thought the two of them put on a fabulous show, especially at the end when they performed together. It definitely was a little hilarious that at the Super Bowl halftime show in front of a billion people J-Lo was singing about still being “Jenny from the block.”
But they were fabulous, the kids in the cages was a nice little political statement, and I enjoyed it as much as any Super Bowl halftime since Prince

– Our President tweeted right after the game his congratulations to the Chiefs, and to “the great state of Kansas” on the win. The Chiefs play in Kansas City, Mo.

He’s just such a moron.

— Finally, there was not one mention of Colin Kaepernick, the last 49ers quarterback to take them to the Super Bowl, on the broadcast. Not one. Seems mighty suspicious, doesn’t it? A ridiculous whitewashing of history.

Oh yeah, and I have lots of Australian Open tennis thoughts (Djokovic!) but it’s late and I’m tired so I’ll save them for Wednesday.

 

 

Remembering Steven McDonald, a NYPD legend who just died. Harry Truman’s grandson goes back to Japan, movingly. And Aaron Rodgers cannot be stopped; neither can the Packers

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Friday was a very emotional day in New York City, especially if you’ve lived here for a while or grew up in the city or on Long Island, as I did.

In 1986 a 29-year-old police officer named Steven McDonald, whose wife was pregnant with their son Conor, was shot and paralyzed by a teenage robber in Central Park. McDonald instantly became a tragic hero, not just because he was a quadriplegic, but because a year after the shooting McDonald forgave the shooter.

“I’m sometimes angry at the teen-age boy who shot me,” McDonald’s wife Patti Ann said then, reading a letter Steven had dictated. “But more often I feel sorry for him. I only hope that he can turn his life into helping and not hurting people. I forgive him and hope that he can find peace and purpose in his life.”

McDonald spent the rest of his life preaching peace and forgiveness all over the world. He became an inspiration to millions, and each year appeared on the ice at the penultimate New York Rangers game of the year to give out the “Steven McDonald Courage Award.”

He made public appearances, his son grew up to be an NYPD officer, and he stood for so much that was good, and just, in the world. If Steven McDonald could forgive the man who took away his legs, and his ability to breathe on his own, what right did any of the rest of us have to hold grudges?

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Twelve thousand police officers came to McDonald’s funeral Friday at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan.

Twelve. Thousand. I was at the Rangers game Friday night and the team made several tributes to McDonald, including a beautiful video honoring him during the game.

At the end of it, Conor and Patti Ann were given a standing ovation,  they embraced and cried after what must have been an incredibly difficult day. The crowd stayed on their feet and chanted Steven McDonald’s name, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one at the rink with goosebumps.

A great man was lost. But he will always, always be remembered.

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**I’ve written here before about my love for the fantastic NPR story-telling series “The Moth,” which I listen to on its podcast regularly.

Actually, check that: What I usually end up doing is let a bunch of stories pile up, then listen to them all at once when I need a lift. Every once in a while I’m gobsmacked by one of these fantastic tales, as I was last week when I heard this phenomenal tale by Clifton Truman Daniel.

Clifton Daniel is the oldest grandson of Harry Truman (I think I actually met Clifton, a distinguished journalist, when I first started working at the Wilmington (N.C.) Star-News in 1997), and as such has had to live his life dealing with his grandfather’s complicated legacy.

On no issue is that legacy more complicated than the President’s decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August, 1945. Clifton Daniel has had varying feelings about the historic attack, and in this moving story he tells of how Japanese people in America have approached him to discuss it.

But it’s only when he goes to Japan as an invited guest, to a memorial service about the bombings, that true understanding comes. Listen to this beautiful story, about forgiveness, age-old memories, and how strong people can be. This one really knocked my socks off.

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**Finally today, the NFL playoffs finally gave us some decent games after a dreadful opening weekend.

OK, they gave us three decent games and one great game, starring Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packer quarterback who is pretty freaking unstoppable right now.

The Dallas Cowboys had a terrific season, and their defense has been great, but the Packers and Rodgers just picked ’em apart Sunday. Rodgers just waited, waited, waited and then hit an open receiver time and again. I have no idea how he’ll be stopped, by Atlanta next week or in the Super Bowl.

Green Bay jumped way ahead 21-3, the Cowboys and their fabulous rookie QB Dak Prescott came all the way back to tie the game at 28, then the kickers took over. Mason Crosby of Green Bay nailed a 56-yarder, then a minute later after one of the most clutch catches you’ll ever see (Jared Cook, pictured above) he nailed a 51-yarder.

The game was terrific, Rodgers is raising his “all-time NFL QB” ranking a few notches every week, and I’m just glad the Cowboys got beat.

Couple other NFL playoff notes…

— Oh, Andy Reid. Andy, Andy, Andy. Once again, your team has a great regular season, a playoff bye, a raucous home crowd… and yet once again you come up short. All credit to the Steelers, who have a terrific team peaking at the right time. But boy did the Chiefs lay an egg. From Travis Kelce’s drops to so many stupid penalties to (wait for it) clock and timeout mismanagement from Reid, Kansas City gave this one away.

As I said on Twitter after the game: “It’s stunning to see a favored Andy Reid team lose  in the playoffs.” — said no one, ever.

— I briefly got excited when, while at a birthday party Saturday night at a restaurant, I checked my phone and saw “Pats 14, Texans 13.” But then I realized there’s no way Tom Brady is losing a playoff game to Brock Osweiler. Patriots are going to the Super Bowl.

— Atlanta looked great on offense, but I have no idea how their defense will stop Rodgers next week. We’re looking at a Packers-Patriots Super Bowl and man oh man that will be fun.

Big brother wins another Manning Bowl. Catching fish with your hair? Sure. And a baseball player mails pot to his dog.

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As a lifelong little brother myself, I always root for Eli Manning when he has to play Peyton.
I mean, Peyton has gotten to do everything first in life: Star in football, first in college, and then the NFL. Peyton got to throw touchdown passes first, got to the Super Bowl first (though Eli now has two rings to Peyton’s one, which just seems strange, doesn’t it?), and is a better overall quarterback and TV commercial pitchman. (that’s Peyton above on the right, with little bro’ Eli in front).

So when Eli has played Peyton, I generally pull for the Giants signal-caller. But once again Sunday, as he has in all three times they’ve played, Eli fell way short.
Peyton was brilliant, throwing for more than 300 yards and powering the Broncos to an easy win over the 0-2 Giants. (By the way, my terrible Jets are 1-1, and the far-superior Giants are winless. I said to my father-in-law, a die-hard Giants fan, Sunday night, that if the Jets somehow finish with a better record than the Giants, he’ll never hear the end of it.)

Peyton beating Eli was expected, but I still felt for the younger brother as usual. You know Peyton has never let him win anything in life, and when they’re old and gray and sitting on the porch chasing the grandkids, Peyton will hold his 3-0
record over Eli’s head forever.
Damn those older siblings.

Some other quick-hit NFL thoughts an another bananas day in the league:
— It’s really fun to watch the Eagles play offense. Not so much fun to watch them play defense. Michael Vick will throw for 6,000 yards this year, and the team will finish 7-9. Good times, eh?
— Biggest positive surprise so far? The 2-0 Chiefs. Still weird to see Andy Reid in red-and-white, but that’s a pretty solid team he’s got there in Kansas City. Biggest disappointment? The Washington RGIII’s (hey, it seems like much of the media has decided not use the offensive “Redskins” name anymore, so RGIII’s is as good as anything else).
Boy does Washington look awful. Their defense is atrocious, they can’t get off to a good start, and there’s no running game to speak of. Griffin doesn’t look fully recovered from his knee injury at all.
— Three games were decided in the last minute Sunday: Chicago-Minnesota, Buffal0-Carolina, San Diego-Philly, and New Orleans-Atlanta, while a fifth, Tennessee-Houston, went to overtime. My point? I have two. First, nobody does drama like the NFL. And 2, why anyone would ever wager on these games is beyond me. Nobody knows what’s going to happen from week to week, and if someone tries to tell you they do, they’re bullshitting you.

**Next up, nothing unusual to see here: Just a college kid catching a fish with only his hair.
One of the many, many reasons I wish I still had lovely mane of locks: I could do stuff like this.

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**Finally today, a tale of an athlete so stupid you just have to laugh and just sort of marvel at his stupidity. A couple of weeks ago a Cleveland Indians pitcher named Chris Perez was convicted on drug charges, for mailing a package containing nine ounces of weed.
To his dog.
Yep, Brody the Dog got a package from his owner, which was awfully nice since I’m sure Brodie hadn’t gotten high in at least a few days. All he’d been doing was chasing his tail (which is a lot more fun when you’re stoned, dogs have told me), and running after a tennis ball, (which is an activity that loses its luster when you’re stoned, dogs have also confided in me.)

Ah, Chris Perez. If only you knew the truth: The dog was just ordering the pot for the goldfish; that’s the real drug fiend in your family.