by John Walters
From Superior, He Was Superior
Bud Grant passed away this weekend at the age of 94.
There was simply nobody like him: he grew up without a father, as I recall, and I believe his mother had to resort to an older profession to help support the family when he was young. Grant was a THREE-sport star at the University of Minnesota.
He’s the only man to play in both the NBA and the NFL.
The only man to intercept five passes in a pro football game (in the CFL), though he had played wide receiver part of the time in the NFL.
A few years ago I heard that Grant staged an annual yard sale at his home on Memorial Day weekend. I asked Grant if I could speak to him about that, and I was surprised that the then 88 year-old grant accepted the offer. He invited me to spend an afternoon at his home in Bloomington, Minn. It was a Saturday in May (the week before the yard sale) and we spent four memorable hours in his living room, downing endless cups of coffee and discussing his life.
Despite that gruff exterior, Grant had a wicked sense of humor. Dry, but wicked. An exceptional person. Thank you for that day, Coach Grant. Rest in peace.
Something a teacher (Mr. Gilligan, 8th grade math) told me long ago and that I’ve never forgotten: you may be remembered for that one infamous moment in your life, no matter what you do all of the rest of your life. So try to avoid it.
On the same night a year ago in which Will Smith won a Best Actor Oscar (something that fewer than a handful of black men have ever done), he slapped Chris Rock onstage at that ceremony. And, alas, 50 years from now, that’s likely what Smith will be remembered for most.
Ironically, Rock had taken the high road about the incident for nearly the entire year afterward. And continued to do so for the first 45 or 50 minutes of his unprecedented live Netflix special, “Selective Outrage,” two Saturdays back. Rock’s set had a few peaks– the “Americans being addicted to attention” and “racist yoga pants” riffs stood out—but there was also more of a sense of anger than comedy to much of what he was spewing. Hostility.
Then he finally came around to The Slap. He started out fine, reiterating that he was not a VICTIM. But then his harangue became ugly, and not particularly funny. When he aired, onstage, the extremely dirty laundry that had been a part of the Smith-Jada Pinkett marital problems, he went too far. And, just like Smith, he cannot have that moment in time back.
I wish that Rock had consulted his good friend Jerry Seinfeld before he ran with that material. The one good joke in the riff that he had (the idea of Smith starring in “Concussion” and then giving him one), he flubbed. The rest, I believe, Seinfeld would have told him to scratch in order to maintain a semblance of dignity. All Rock did was lower himself to the same level where Smith was a year earlier.
Tom Cruise seems sanguine about the fact that he may never win an Oscar (or he’ll pull a Henry Fonda and win one on his deathbed out of sympathy for all the times the Academy overlooked him during his career). In the meantime, the actor whose first catchphrase was “Sometimes you gotta say, ‘What the f***'” is going to live his best life. Or kill himself doing so.
- What is the largest lake entirely bordered by states in USA?
- What two current coaches have taken three different schools to a Final Four?
- Name a Civil War battle—not Fort Sumter—that the Confederacy undeniably won.
- What is the basic molecular structure of any sugar?
- Name a herbivorous dinosaur.
1. Lake Superior
2. Rick Pitino and John Calipari (if we’re counting vacated appearances)
3. Battle of Fredericksburg
4. No clue, so I’ll just guess carbon
*And I’m a huge Bud Grant fan, so I am very curious how you know what his mother’s alleged profession was!
Bud had written a book that I skimmed. We also spoke about it. It was either his mom or grandmother, but I think it was his mom.
I can’t think of the name of the dinosaur at the moment but it’s the one that was the symbol for SINCLAIR OIL back in the day & a cartoon version was on their station signs & TV ads. It’s BIG, with a long neck (made it easy to reach those tasty treetops) & I found out they were herbivores from the original Jurassic Park movie. Anyhoo, Sinclair took over Holly Frontier (a refiner) which was one of my stock holdings a few years ago & their stock ticker name is now….wait for it…. DINO, which I still own & makes me giggle. 🙂
BTW, how are your investments doing? Mine were down, down, down awash in a sea of red last year except for my energy holdings. And it’s partly why I’m still working & did not retire last Fall. (I AM retiring in JUNE!). Hopefully, you made a pile on your crypto & then got out. Do you ever try to talk investments with certain folks in your life & it’s a scene from a sitcom? That’s me EVERY Christmas when talking investing with my younger sister. A few years ago, I told her we (yes, WE) don’t have to worry about our Long Term Care in 25-30 years as one of my stocks will “take care of it” (NVDA & yes, I was feeling prettee cocky back then). This Xmas I explained that stock was, ahem, temporarily in the toilet but “not to worry” as I still had total faith it would allow us to live out our days not dependent on the apparent $30/MONTH the govt gives the Medicaid folks in nursing homes. She snorted. I said I hope to BUY MORE if I think it’s hit bottom & she rolled her eyes. (I DID buy more when it got to $109 a few months ago & must say I’m pretty happy about it right now). I was only able to buy more thanks to the POS who bought my TWTR. (BTW, I finally bought more AMZN & DIS too thanks to that windfall). I had voted “NO” to his purchase as I knew he would ruin it but even I had no idea what a TOTAL PIECE OF SHIT that guy really is (sorry for the language).
Finally, the Rebs won the 1st Battle of Bull Run. Which was quite the SHOCK to all the Washington high society & politicos who had come out to “watch” & had to race like heck to get back across the Potomac.