by John Walters
1. Snow Place Like Home*
*The judges will also accept, “STELLA! STELLA!”
Snow days like today in the Northeast allow you time to sit and ponder life’s great questions, such as: Why does ‘blizzard’ have two z’s but ‘lizard’ only has one, and how come you never see one where you see the other? Why do they call it a Nor’easter (because that’s the direction the wind comes from; I don’t know why they sub out the “th” for a “‘”; ask Billy Joel)?
2. Check Out The Balls on Those….Balls*
*The judges will also accept “The B Amigos,” and “Billion Dollar Babies”
Joe Jackson, Richard Williams, Earl Woods, meet LaVar Bell….
LaVar Ball planted his seed(s) between 20 and 13 years ago and now he’s finally ready to reap the harvest. “A billion dollars, it has to be there,” Ball told USA Today in an article published Monday, talking about the shoe deal he wants for sons and/or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo. “That’s our number, a billion, straight out of the gate. And you don’t even have to give it to me all up front. Give us $100 million a year.”
And you need to build them a venue and call it Ball Arena.
Is LaVar, who himself stands 6’6″, somewhat of an overwhelming stage dad? Consider that Steve Baik, the coach at Chino Hills High, where Lonzo played last season and his two brothers now play, quit after leading the team to a 36-0 record and a California state championship. And Baik was named National High School Coach of the Year. He still resigned.
From the Orange County Register: “As LaVar remembers, “I told the coach, ‘Well you’re going to be known as the one who let the Ball boys get away. We can go anywhere. Trust me.’”
3. Ball, Ball Meet Bol Bol
I know you’re following the CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) basketball playoffs, but for those who aren’t, you should know that in the Open division, the premier class of high school hoops in California, the Balls of Chino High are one win away from avenging their only in-state loss of the season with a semi-final matchup against perennial power Mater Dei. The Monarchs are led by 7’0″ center Bol Bol, who is yes, Manute’s son. He’s only a 17 year-old junior.
*The judges will also accept “Don’t Care,” “Designated Survivor” and “When Even Donald Trump Doesn’t Want His Name On It, You Know It’s A Steaming Pile Of Garbage”
I get that it’s easy to pile on health care systems, whether they’re proposed by Barack Obama (“Obamacare is a disaster!”) or Donald Trump (“14 Million More Unemployed, Tax Cuts For The Rich”). Here’s The New York Times‘ op-ed on the topic this a.m.
And I don’t have the answer.
I guess if I were Health Care Poobah, I’d say this: 1) Let’s cut the crap and we only pay for what you NEED to stay alive as opposed to what you WANT. So, yeah, if you have diabetes or you just got into a motorcycle accident, that’s what your health care is for, but if you WANT pre-natal care for your sixth child even though you and your partner don’t work, well, something’s gotta give.
Does that sound cold? Nature is cold (as our man above can tell you).
I don’t have the answer. I do know that medical care and what medicine can do has far outstripped our capacity as humans to afford it. I also know that more and more people are living longer, post-working years, lives. And being here a week in Arizona, where everyone drives as opposed to where I normally live, I’ve seen an alarmingly high rate of obese Americans (despite having the best weather in the country in which to exercise daily) as opposed to where I live, in New York City (sounds counter-factual, but it’s not).
It’s a doomed system: People living longer, living less healthy, and expecting the best health care that has ever existed. And who’s going to pay for it? “You, Lieutenant Winberg?!”
Eventually, we’re going to hit a WALL much more real and blunt than the one Donny wants to build on the Mexican border. Eventually we’re going to set the cut-off age at 70 and Logan’s Run everyone’s asses. And if you think it’s bad now, wait until they find the cure for cancer. We ALL want to live and we all want access to everything that can make us survive as long as possible. Great.
How you gonna pay for that? Are you going to put a massive financial burden on everyone? Are you going to cut military defense spending (One reason those other western countries can afford universal health care is because they don’t spend as much on military and one reason they do that is because Uncle Sam has their backs on that)?
We’re born. We live. We die. LIVE while you’re healthy. If you’re spending all day on Facebook and Twitter and talking about why Nick picked Vanessa over Raven, hey, that’s your choice. But all of us paying to keep you alive another 10 to 20 years….Well, nature has the best way of dealing with that problem.
(Bring on the nasty comments.)
5. Don Denkinger Feels Your Pain
This video cuts off too soon, so we’ll never know if mass mayhem erupted after this call was made, whether that cute little boy standing up against the fence got a Snow Cone, what the umpire was reading in his left hand or if Tony Soprano and his entire family were murdered in the diner. We’ll just never know.
5-A. The Ceiling Is The Roof
It’s dated a week or two, but we never did cover the magisterial wisdom of Michael Jeffrey Jordan here. Speaking to the Dean Dome crowd recently at halftime of the Duke-UNC game in Chapel Hill, the greatest NBA player of all time told the audience, “The ceiling is the roof!”
Does this mean the Tar Heels are going to be playing in a dome? Or that UNC football is going to have an indoor practice facility? Is the roof, the roof, the roof on fire? Someone help me….
Right Here Right Now
There was a time in the early Nineties when you could turn on FM radio and you could hear, right in a row, Spin Doctors, Jesus Jones, Extreme and EMF. Many people who experienced this began listening to opera or hip hop. This song flooded the MTV and was everyone’s favorite “Hey, The Berlin Wall Fell!” anthem. It was so nice to have eradicated fascism and authoritarianism in the West for good….while it lasted.
Mount St. Mary’s vs. New Orleans
Kansas State vs. Wake Forest
TruTV 6:30 p.m.
I’m flummoxed. I don’t believe in the whole play-in deal (nothing personal, Dayton), but it feels like this is the fourth “you won’t want to miss season finale” from NBC’s This Is Us. Kids, don’t ever grow up to be a curmudgeon. You can watch one or the other, I’ll be outside yelling at people to get off my lawn.