Tag Archives: Bob Hurley Sr.

Obama continues his big broken promise on Guantanamo Bay. Jon Stewart on universal preschool. And the great Bob Hurley Sr., keeps on winning.

Guantanamo Bay

This Chicago Blackhawks streak is getting beyond ridiculous. They’ve now gotten a point in 24 straight games to start the NHL season. That’s half the season now. Will they ever lose in a 60-minute game?

As I temporarily sat riveted Wednesday night watching C-SPAN and believing that batshit-crazy Senator Rand Paul was actually right to be questioning America’s use of drones to kill American citizens (and for the record, I’m thrilled someone is actually using the filibuster the way it’s supposed to be used, I think Paul is right to question the use of drones and killing American citizens, but I can’t forget that this is the same Rand Paul who was against the Civil Rights Act)  I got to thinking about Guantanamo Bay.

You know, the little island in Cuba that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld decided was a good place to hold all terrorists suspected of doing anything bad in the War on Terror.

The place where prisoners, many who had nothing to do with Al Qaeda, many who were never even formally charged with anything, were left for years at a time, to perish and be waterboarded and treated in a disgusting manner.

The place that Barack Obama promised throughout 2007 and 2008 to close when he became President, because it’s a blight on our country that it’s open and people are tortured there.

The place that as this scathing article in Britain’s Guardian newspaper points out, is alive and kicking in 2013, four years into Obama’s Presidency.

This is one prisoner wrote in his letters: “Please … torture me in the old way. Here they destroy people mentally and physically without leaving marks.”

Many of the prisoners at Guantanamo are on hunger strikes again, to protest awful conditions and, well, read this passage from the story:

“The deterioration in detainees’ living conditions is believed to be tied to a recent change in the military command of the prison. It has been reported that under the new command regime, mistreatment of prisoners has increased, exacerbating a situation already desperate after over a decade of torture, solitary confinement, and detainee deaths at the camp.”

And oh yeah, more than FIFTY of these prisoners have been cleared for release, yet still haven’t been let go.

It’s a disgrace and a stain on Obama’s legacy, and on this country’s record, that a prison like this is allowed to be continued. Of course we have to keep the real terrorists locked up, but the torture and inhumane conditions for so many individuals who oftentimes don’t even know why they’re there is just horrendous, and unfair.

Maybe one day President Obama will remember what he said he’d do, and do it. But as Rand Paul pointed out hour after hour on Wednesday night, when it comes to terror suspects and torture, there’s sadly not that much daylight between Obama and his predecessor.


**And now, for something different. Universal pre-school is something that really shouldn’t be a political issue; doesn’t everyone think we need to start educating our children younger, and better? Who could be against education?

Well, the GOP can, of course. And Wednesday night Jon Stewart eviscerated them hilariously in this piece.

**Finally, as I’ve written several times before in this space, there may be no basketball coach alive that I admire more than a crotchety old drill sargent down in Jersey City named Bob Hurley, Sr.

Now having won more than 1,000 games at tiny St. Anthony’s High School, Hurley performs miracles on a daily basis, saving kids from the streets and sending hundreds of them onto college.
He doesn’t cheat, he doesn’t complain about the fact that he still doesn’t have a gym to practice in, he just wins. If you’re interested in Hurley, I once again recommend Adrian Wojnarowski’s outstanding book “The Miracle of St. Anthony.”

Hurley and his team just won another private school title Wednesday night, and the great sportswriter Steve Politi has penned a terrific column about Hurley, and how at 65, he’s still going strong.


A debate on nepotism. Psyched for tonight. And Hurley finally gets Hall call

Due to recent events in my life and work, I’ve been thinking about nepotism policies in the workplace lately.

One of the first things the new people who own my newspaper did was institute a nepotism policy, saying that no spouses were allowed to both work at the paper in the same department (unfortunately, they defined “same department” as any two newsroom employees, which is kind of crazy but not the point).

Several good friends were laid off, a victim of their spouse somehow being deemed the more “valuable one.”

Maybe I’m naive, but I’d never heard of a company having a nepotism policy. My wife tells me lots of companies have them.

We talked about it for a while, and we disagreed on their worth. I think, to make a blanket policy that no two employees who are married can work together is unfair (look at Paul and Joanne up there in the photo; they worked together and it seemed to work out OK).

She felt that with the potential for conflict and added stress and strain on the couple, and the people around them, that nepotism policies make sense.

Would love to hear what you all think about this.

**So of course Monday is just going to absolutely crawl for me, as I await tonight’s 9:20 p.m. tip-off of the national championship game between my beloved Duke boys and the remarkable Butler team. Fortunately I’ll be busy all day so hopefully time will fly a little bit. I’ve gone from feeling very confident to a little nervous, because even though all signs point to a Blue Devils win, things are just happening exactly perfect for Butler right now.

Everything has gone right for them, and this may be just one of those magical years for the tiny school from Indy. I really, really hope not. If Duke can shoot about 45 percent from the field, and if my new best friend Brian Zoubek and Lance Thomas can stay out of foul trouble, Duke wins. If not, I’ll grab the Maalox and hang on.

**Caught a little of the UConn women’s Final Four game vs. Baylor Monday night. Was thrilled to finally see someone push the Huskies a little bit; Baylor was down only three in the second half before the incredible Maya Moore and UConn pulled away. Stanford is all that’s left to stop UConn and their smug, arrogant coach, Geno Auriemma, from another national title. Could be a great game Tuesday night.

**Finally, a few words about maybe the best basketball coach in America. Bob Hurley Sr,. has won nearly 1,000 games as the boys head coach at tiny St. Anthony’s High School in crime-infested Jersey City, N.J. He’s captured state and national titles, sent dozens of players to college and the NBA, but more importantly, he’s been a beacon of hope and opportunity for kids in a part of America that rarely sees those things.

Working incredibly long hours with no facilities, Hurley has helped keep St. Anthony’s open, and in 38 years of coaching, only two of his players haven’t gone on to college.

I’d always known about Hurley because of his son, Bobby, being one of the best Duke players ever. But how incredible of a coach, and a man, he is was really brought home in the fantastic book “Miracle of St. Anthony’s” by an e-migo of mine, Adrian Wojnarowski (“e-migo” is a term coined by my hero Joe Posnanski, who said it means a colleague you sort of know, but mostly communicate through Facebook and email. I love that term.)

Adrian spent a year inside the program and wrote a terrific, compelling portrait of one man’s fight to keep hope alive for kids.

I’m writing all this about Hurley because finally, after three failed attempts, he’s been elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. It’s a long-overdue honor for a truly great man.