Wednesday, May 24, 2017

There was an awkward moment when Donald Trump met the Pope. Trump tried to hold Francis’s hand and the Pope swatted it away.

Dallas Cowboy, Ezekiel Elliot had to miss a workout after being in his second car crash of the year. It appears Elliot drives about as well as the Cleveland Browns play football. 

It turns out eating chocolate is good for your heart. Which essentially explains why Chris Christie is still alive. 

Did you see the look on the Pope’s face when he took the picture with Donald Trump? He looks like someone who just found out he got on the wrong train. 

After winning the pole for the Indianapolis 500, Scott Dixon was robbed at gunpoint while eating at Taco Bell. Dixon described the incident as scary, life-threatening and traumatic. And besides eating at Taco Bell, the robbery was rough too.

Book stores are reporting Ivanka Trump’s book, “Women Who Work,” is not selling. It is available in the discount bin with Anthony Weiner’s “How To Use Social Media To Boost Your Career.” 

Nike has signed New York Giant, Odell Beckham Jr. to the most lucrative shoe deal at $5 mil. a year. Some are calling this the greatest shoe deal since Cinderella or Dorothy’s ruby slippers.

Donald and Melania Trump landed in Rome. Personally, I thought it was mean when they got off Air Force One and the band was playing the Beatles’ “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” 

Donald Trump is still on his international trip. Awkward moment when Eric Trump heard his father was abroad. He said, “Oh no, like Caitlyn Jenner?” 

In South Africa, a black man had a successful penis transplant from a white donor. It was wild, the patient’s body did not reject the organ, but the patient’s wife did. 

Since you asked:

How do you know you’re getting old? When the son of one of your high school coaches is inducted into your high school Hall of Fame. 

Congratulations - not that he will ever see this -  to Jim Burnside, apparently a great soccer coach and the son of our-era, beloved coach, Pete Burnside.

Although I was a huge fan of Mr. Burnside, sadly, I never got to be coached by Pete as I was not in cross country or baseball. But my friends whom he did coach adored him and he inspires them to this day. One still runs and is an award-winning doctor. 

Pete Burnside was the definition of modest to a fault. In addition to being a graduate of Dartmouth, he had a stellar 8-year Major League baseball career as a pitcher with the Detroit Tigers, San Francisco Giants and others. He was funny, kind and caring. 

We had no idea he had that kind of baseball career. He never mentioned it once. 

And yet our football coach had a cup of coffee in Canadian football and demanded to be treated like he was Jim freaking Brown. 

My parents sacrificed a great deal so we could go to school in one of, if not the best, school systems in the country, Winnetka. New Trier is always ranked at the top for public high schools for both academics and sports and I am proud I graduated from there. 

And yet the contrast in quality of coaches was shocking. 

On the upside we had Pete Burnside, Hank Bangser, Mr. Leahey, and Morris Barefield -our token African American coach -  four of the smartest, funniest, kindest and well-intended people on the planet. Hank, Pete, Mr. Leahey (cannot remember his first name) and Morris loved helping kids and you could tell. 

(The bad coaches I will also describe, but they shall remain nameless. And this is just my opinion. Others, I am sure, had more positive experiences)

On the bad side, our aforementioned football coach was a brutish, vain, man-child who put his win-loss record over the physical well-being of the teenagers in his charge. Believe me, I know, he forced me to play on a torn hamstring. Prior to that I played with broken fingers, a broken rib, a sprained ankle, a ten-stitch lacerated eye-brow and a cracked toe. Although he was truly stupid, that mono-syllabic thug was also just a plain old bad guy. Just for how he treated me, he should have served prison time. (Again. My opinion)

One of our assistant football coaches, and our head coach's best friend, was a mouth-breathing, snot-blowing, crotch-grabbing moron who would eventually descend into the nether regions of Chicago mafia-controlled gay porn. He was too stupid to pay off his mafia-payoff, so he only survived a bombing attempt because the wise-guys sent to do the job were just as stupid as he was. They blew themselves up on the way to destroy him and his gay-porn/sex shop.

And yet my sophomore team head football coach, Mr. Leahey, was a great guy, caring and fair, and a damn good coach - we won the league - and one hell of a math teacher.  

It goes back and forth. My freshman football coach was as great a gymnastics coach as he was an awful football coach. Not once did I touch the football, and the next year, under coach Leahey, I scored 22 touchdowns. 

One assistant football coach was a morbidly-obese, squeaky-voiced, virgin - I am fairly certain his testicles never descended -  who never played a day of a sport in his life. Though apparently a good physics teacher who insisted on being called Doctor. But because he knew physics, he somehow weaseled his tweedledum  ass into coaching football.

He was also probably history’s only 5 foot 4, 300-pound-plus long jump coach. God help us, but he was a pompous piece of crap. 

And yet, on the other hand, another of our assistant football coaches, Hank Bangser, was an outstanding coach, a great guy who became the superintendent of the school and considered one of the best educators in the country. Nobody did not like and respect Mr. Bangser. 

Back to the flip side, another assistant  football coach was a degenerate alcoholic who was also sexual predator who frequently had illicit affairs by praying on emotionally-damaged high school girls. Although fun to be around, he also should have done time. 

And here I was lucky enough to go to a great high school with some outstanding coaches, and yet they still had characters coaching kids who were, at best, inept and, at worst, the absolute dregs of society. Virtually criminals. 

This trend of good and awful coaches continued with my daughter, a competitive soccer player. While most of her coaches were good, she ran into a female high school coach who was like my high school football coach: a sadistic sociopath who flat out did not like her.

So my daughter quit soccer and is now competing in track at a wonderful division one college, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Blessing in disguise. And the sadistic soccer coach got fired. 

The point is, you will probably have good coaches, but if you do run into a bad one, it is what you make of it. 

80-20 pops up again. 80% of coaches are good, but the 20% that are bad are so awful they can do serious damage. Your job, as the athlete or the parent of the athlete, is to mitigate the damage. 

So let's toast to us having more good coaches, like the Burnside family. Father Pete, and sons Jim and John.