Uberring Saint Petersburg

One of my first riders this morning was a young man named Hussan. He’s from Morocco. We talked about living in big cities and how the service industry can’t afford to live in the city they are working in. We discussed San Francisco and the $15 minimum wage was brought up. Then Hussan told me that Bernie Sanders is the only one who makes sense. He’s got it right he said. Thank you Hussan. There is hope for our country after all.

Advertisements

Uberring Saint Petersburg

I picked up an older Spanish man this morning on 4th St. He said we had to pick up a lady friend who lived nearby and then we would be going to the airport.

Marion, in her mid 80’s at least, was waiting for us when we arrived. After we loaded everything in the car and started our trip she mentioned a ministry she worked for. I asked her who she was affiliated with. She replied, Jehovah’s Witnesses. I didn’t blink an eye. I haven’t been kind in my words and thoughts about their religion since a friend of mine who belonged to the religion declined an invitation from me to come over and have a cookout. I wanted our kids to play together but he couldn’t let his children associate with others outside their religion. I considered it a cult. Once about 35 years ago I saw them coming up the driveway one Saturday morning around 10. I raced to the fridge and pulled out a beer. Yes, I was that guy.

I related a recent home visit from members of her church. A young girl, about 13 or 14 came to the door with the leaflets and a prepared speech. There were 4 or 5 adults standing back, all smiling as she made her presentation. She was obviously very nervous and I let her finish and thanked her very much. She was adorable. Marion said the purpose of the home visits is hopefully to get people to read THEIR Bible. If people would read THEIR Bible and live by it imagine how wonderful the world would be. Wow. Count one old Irish brain blown to smithereens. I wanted to give Marion a hug.

Mario and Marion were on different flights and different air sides. Mario’s flight was earlier but he asked me to drop Marion off first so he could attend to her luggage and make sure she got proper attention. I told him not to worry I’d take care of it. I let Mario off at Delta and took Marion to Southwest. A skycap came over and got her a wheelchair. As he started to wheel her away I stopped him and said to Marion, “The reason I love driving for Uber is because I meet wonderful people like you almost every day.

I learned a lot today and I’m a better person for it.

SPYGATE, DEFLATE, MANGINI AND NASCAR

When Bill Belicheck was coaching the Cleveland Browns a young ball boy impressed him as a hard worker. Bill gave him a job with his coaching staff. That ball boy was Eric Mangini. He spent 9 years with Bill until in 2005 he was offered the head coaching job with the Jets. On the plane ride home from the Patriots last game he was openly recruiting Patriot players to play for him in New York. During the 2006 season the NFL had become aware of teams videotaping opponents practices. As the Jets were preparing to play the Pats Mangini informed the NFL that the Pats were still doing it. As they would say on the street, he ratted Bill out. That was the beginning of Spygate. One coach, Mangini broke the code. There are hundreds of assistant coaches, team managers, etc that could have done what Mangini did but they didn’t. That’s why the Patriots are at the top of the list when people talk about cheating. Does anybody think the Patriots were the only team to continue spying? No, they were the only team to get told on by a Benedict Arnold who turned in the coach who was responsible for his NFL career. Mangini is scum.

Deflategate is the biggest non story of the season. The Ravens, still smarting from their loss to the Patriots informed the Colts that the Pats footballs were soft. But the referees checked them before the game and they were fine. Has anybody shown any proof that anyone connected to the Patriots took some air out of the balls once they got them back? There are cameras everywhere. There were literally thousands of cameras at Gillette during the game. Surely one person would have a shot of the Patriot bench showing some tampering. Well, not so far. It might just be the balls were inflated at the lowest level and lost air from there which made them under. For the record Brady had a better stats in the second half, after the balls were fixed, that he did in the first half. The Pats outscored the Colts 28-0 in the second half. A little bit of air in the ball makes no difference.

Jimmy Johnson won 5 consecutive NASCAR championships. During that time his crew chief, Chad Knaus was caught 4 times violating NASCAR rules. He was fined and in one case, suspended for 6 races. How many times have you heard people take any credit away from them? ZERO. If anyone thinks all teams, no matter what the sport don’t straddle the rules line and sometimes go over it you’re being totally naive.

The Patriots aren’t any worse than any other team. Belicheck’s biggest mistake was hiring a rat to his coaching staff.

BARCLAY PREMIER LEAGUE MIDSEASON REPORT

clocker bob

I’ll steal a line from the Men in Blazers and say if you’re looking for technical, insightful hard hitting commentary look somewhere else.

But before I get in to the nuts and bolts let me explain how I became such a fan of futbol. The year was 1979 and I said to my 7 year old son that tomorrow is Little League sign up day. He looked at me and said “Dad, I want to play soccer”. You could have knocked me down with the proverbial feather. I never played, I had never heard him express a wish to play, nada, nothing. It seemed his friend Fred who lived across the street had already played a year and he had a net set up and my son had been playing over there. I panicked. I immediately called my Dad and said what am I going to do? Chris not playing…

View original post 613 more words

BARCLAY PREMIER LEAGUE MIDSEASON REPORT

I’ll steal a line from the Men in Blazers and say if you’re looking for technical, insightful hard hitting commentary look somewhere else.

But before I get in to the nuts and bolts let me explain how I became such a fan of futbol. The year was 1979 and I said to my 7 year old son that tomorrow is Little League sign up day. He looked at me and said “Dad, I want to play soccer”. You could have knocked me down with the proverbial feather. I never played, I had never heard him express a wish to play, nada, nothing. It seemed his friend Fred who lived across the street had already played a year and he had a net set up and my son had been playing over there. I panicked. I immediately called my Dad and said what am I going to do? Chris not playing baseball?? Well, of course I told my son he could play soccer and I’ll take him down when registration opens. The next morning grandpa paid a visit and took his grandson for a ride, to the Little League registration. He played both. As Chris started his soccer career I watched from the sidelines with my wife and infant daughter. 5 years later that infant daughter wanted to play. She started on an under 8 team in our town’s recreation league. After 7 games the team was 0-7 and lost every game by the mercy rule. The coach quit and guess who the league recruited to coach? Yup, me.  I coached for a very enjoyable 13 years. That included 7 years as a referee in which I officiated youth competitive soccer up to U18, school soccer from middle to high school and I was just starting to get my feet wet in the adult leagues when we moved to Florida and that was it.

Not having a club in my blood like the Boston Red Sox are, my allegiances to premier league teams has changed over the years. When Red Sox owner John Henry purchased Liverpool I was all in. Go Reds!! So of course I’m rooting for Liverpool to win the championship. But there is so much more to enjoy in the BPL. A champion is crowned but there are 3 other competitions that take place within the league. The top 3 or 4 teams participate in the UEFA Champions League, the highest caliber league on the planet. The next 3 or 4 get invited to play in the Europa League, which is a second tier Champions league. Then, there’s the fight for survival where the bottom three clubs are demoted to England’s Championship division and three teams from there are promoted. Very often this is the most exciting competition come the last day of the season.

At the midseason break it’s looking pretty grim for my Reds. After one of their most successful seasons in years, where they earned a Champions League entry, they are mired in eighth place, 17 points from co leaders Chelsea and Manchester City. Last year they had the most potent attack in the league with Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling. All they had to do was add a midfielder, shore up the back line and the sky was the limit. But they lost Suarez in the summer transfer window, Sturridge has been hurt and the signings Brendan Rodgers made haven’t panned out. The back line is still bad and Mignolet seems to have regressed in goal.

It’s safe to say Chelsea and Man City will fight it out for the championship. Man United has improved recently and they look like a lock for a Champions League spot next year. Now it gets interesting for the fourth position as Southhampton, Tottenham, West Ham, Arsenal, Liverpool and Swansea are all within 7 points of each other. One of them will make the CL, the others probably will fill out the Europa league. Remember the BPL awards 3 points for a win so standings can change quickly. In the relegation battle there are 9 teams who are only separated by 8 points. Aston Villa, Everton, Sunderland, Hull, Queens Park Rangers, West Brom, Crystal Palace, Burnley and Leicester City are all in danger of relegation.

For the first time in my life I can say I am enjoying the BPL more than the NFL.  That’s a topic for another day but I can tell you one thing for sure.  Futbol referees don’t take back their red cards.  It looks like a great second half for the Barclays Premier League.

HOT STOVE

Brandon McCarthy signs with the Dodgers for 4 years, $48 million. Obviously he wanted to get away from a team that’s going nowhere next season.

Contrary to what I’m hearing from Red Sox fans I love what they’ve done so far. Ramirez is one of the most exciting offensive players in the game and Sandoval fills a huge need. Porcello is coming off a career best year and at 26 still has a big upside.  He’s a ground ball pitcher and should fit Fenway well.  It was obvious Cespedes didn’t want to sign with Boston so getting a solid starter, who is arbitration eligible, not in his walk year in return is a good deal. Signing Masterson to a 1 year deal at $9 million is a low cost, low risk move that gives the team depth. I see his role as a #5 or a spot starter and long reliever.

Boegarts, Betts, Swihart, and Owens are the Sox top prospects. The Red Sox have built one of the most talented farm systems in the league and I don’t want them to blow it all up trading for someone like Hamels. Cole is a shade past his peak and hasn’t done well when pitching against the American League. I think the reason a deal hasn’t been reached is because the Phillies are insisting on two of the four I mentioned. Cherington will be wise to show patience and resist the temptation. If he does it tells me he’s pointing for 2016 and hoping for the playoffs next year. Not a bad plan in my opinion. Just about all the kids will be ready by then.

At $200 million Scott Boras has priced Scherzer in a zone only the Yankees could love.  I see him going to the Bronx for somewhere around $180 which is still far too much.  The Yankees can’t sit still with Miller and Dee Dee. The Yankees are looking good with Betances and Miller in the set up/closers role but where else do they excel? Girardi has to work his magic once again or the Yankees will be fighting the Rays for last place in the AL East.  Rumor has it it’s not if but when Tanaka will need Tommy John surgery.  CC is done, Nova is always hurt and Kuroda and McCarthy are gone. Cashman can spend a million dollars and still not be able to fix this mess.

I used to be a huge NASCAR fan but my interest has waned over the last few years. I never liked the Chase but I have to say this year they got me back.  I do have to say NASCAR should tweak the system as it is not right for a driver to be able to win the championship without winning a race all year.

Every time I hear humming coming from a certain quarterback’s mouth in a Nationwide Insurance commercial I hit the mute button as fast as I can.

Overrated: Cracker Barrel

Underrated: Stevie Ray Vaughn

I’m glad Heyward got traed to St Louis. There were rumors he was coming to Boston and I didn’t want to see that.

Don’t think for one second that much of anything will change if Hilary is elected President. Corporate America will still have it’s stranglehold on our country.

Speaking of that trade I’m shocked the Cards let go of Miller.

How are the Marlins going to pay Stanton $25 mill a year? They draw less than the Rays and have a lousy TV contract.

Derrick Rose is soft.

As far as I’m concerned Horse of the Year is still up for grabs.

As the NHL gets ready to induct 6 new members to their Hall of Fame I’m wondering why Eric Lindross is still on the outside looking in.

As a Red Sox fan I’m happy to hear Boston is backing off trading for Cole Hamels. I want no part of him. Why should Boston give up at least 2 of their best prospects for an over 30 pitcher who has a less than stellar record when he’s faced American League teams?

Pagano got schooled last night. Undrafted, practice squad player Jonas Gray had 100 yards and 2 td’s before Indy knew what hit them.

I think it’s time for the Democrats to elect new leadership. Reid and Pelosi need to step aside and let younger blood lead the party.

I belong to the largest religious group in this country, EX Catholic. But I have to say I love Pope Francis. I know he wants me back.

Ryan Newman is a class act.

As far as I’m concerned Bill Cosby’s reaction to recent questions over rape accusations sends out a lot of bad vibes.

Mike Evans is the real deal. Finally the Bucs have an offensive player to build around.

The Republicans aren’t even in total control of Congress yet and all I’m hearing from them is appealing the ACA which will take healthcare away from close to 10 million people, impeaching Obama, shutting down the government and running a pipeline full of black slop through the heartland of our country.

With almost a quarter of the NHL season done it doesn’t look good for the Bruins. They are getting their butt kicked by the best teams and struggling to win against the bad ones. It also appears this bunch of Canadiens have the Bruins and Rasks number.

With almost a quarter of the NHL season done it appears the Lightning are for real. Bishop is playing just as well as he did last year, Stamkos is still Stamkos but the real difference has been the third and fourth lines that are filled with youngsters from Syracuse’s AHL championship team. They are a threat to score every shift. The addition of defenseman Anton Stralman, +13, has shored up what has been the teams weakest area. Cup contenders.