Monthly Archives: July 2010

Not the most interesting man in the world…

Just saw this video spoof of my current favorite commercial series linked in a tweet from Catholic Key.

And being a married man for 20 something years, I find it absolutely hilarious.

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Remember, America IS the Great Melting Pot

Rest Day Read (SR-39)

Immigration Is U.S by Joel Kotkin, Forbes Magazine

“You can sing about sea to shining sea or amber waves of grain, but it’s immigration that provides America’s basic rhythm.  Nothing distinguishes the American experience from that of other nations more than the mass migration of people from elsewhere to here.  We are truly a nation of immigrants.”

“Our 21st-century economy will be shaped in large part by these immigrants and their descendants.”

I am an immigrant, several generations directly removed, but I am still proud of the fact that I am from immigrant blood. I am proud of the fact I am Croatian, Irish, English, French and maybe a few others thrown into the pot.  America is the Great Melting Pot.  Built on it, made of it and grown on it.  That is the fabric of what makes this a great nation.  The greatness of this nation lies in the very fact we are a conglomeration of races, cultures, ideas and religions. We need new immigrants to keep the fire burning bright or even light a fire under a “us” that has become stagnate.  We should be battling illegal immigration by promoting and simplifying legal immigration. We should be opening our door instead of slamming it shut.  Sure it will cause all sorts of problems and issues, but isn’t that why our nation is here?

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed,to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”— Emma Lazarus, 1883.

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Friends, Romans and countrymen…with pea shooters.

Rest Day Read (SR-38)
“Friends, Romans and Countrymen…”
-Marc Antony’s speech from
Julius Caesar by Shakespeare
“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones; So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus Hath told you Caesar was ambitious: If it were so, it was a grievous fault, And grievously hath Caesar answer’d it. Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest– For Brutus is an honourable man; So are they all, all honourable men– Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral. He was my friend, faithful and just to me: But Brutus says he was ambitious; And Brutus is an honourable man. He hath brought many captives home to Rome Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill: Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept: Ambition should be made of sterner stuff: Yet Brutus says he was ambitious; And Brutus is an honourable man. You all did see that on the Lupercal I thrice presented him a kingly crown, Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition? Yet Brutus says he was ambitious; And, sure, he is an honourable man. I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke, But here I am to speak what I do know. You all did love him once, not without cause: What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him? O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts, And men have lost their reason. Bear with me; My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, And I must pause till it come back to me.”

A little high brow culture for the Rest Day Read? Well…not completely. I am of an age and place where (and I think many of you will relate) my exposure to culture and arts was mainly introduced through the magic of television. And no, I am not talking about PBS here, people. I am talking about UHF. You old folks remember the UHF, don’t you? The channels beyond the normal VHF world of channels 1-13. UHF, original cable TV before there was cable TV. Where the weird and risque’ would appear, where we would get our cartoons, the serials, monster and horror movies, Star Trek, Lost in Space, Ultra Man, Johnny Socko and His Flying Robot, Benny Hill, etc. In the KCK, our window to the world of UHF was Channel 41, possibly the greatest kid-centric station in the history of broadcasting.

I was introduced to classical music and even opera through Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Yosemite Sam and the rest of the Looney Tunes gang. And how about the scores to Tom and Jerry? A virtual Music 101 course. And this video classic from the Little Rascals I posted today to go along with Marc Antony’s famous speech from Julius Caesar was my first introduction to Shakespeare. I honestly admit, if I would have seen Marlon Brando’s performance of the Marc Antony speech before the Spanky version, Brando might as well be speaking Portuguese. I just would not have cared.

But the Little Rascals version opened the door for me. I laughed till I cried when I first saw that. I still laugh my butt off whenever I watch it. It is a classic! It without a doubt made an impression upon my young, pliable mind. I remember years later in high school, reading Julius Caesar and watching the film version in either English or Humanities Class. Not the most interesting stuff for a high school lineman type of a guy, I must admit. But to this day I remember the light bulb of recognition flicker on as we came to the lines “Friends, Romans, and countrymen, lend me your ears…” I immediately had the visual of Spanky and the pea shooters! Finally, after reading line after line after line of Portuguese, William Shakespeare became a little clearer, a little brighter and made a little more sense. Give the “Hi Sign”!

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“Faith, Family and Football…in that order”

Rest Day Read (SR-37)
Gruden High School Camp 2010 ESPN Video Series
“Man, I love football, sincerely. It gives me the chance to give back to the game a little bit. Be around my son. I wasn’t a very good player when I played the game. I want to help these guys get better. I feel an urgency to do that and I am having a blast.” -Coach John Gruden

Part 1

Joy. That is the first thing I see in Coach Gruden’s eyes. Joy. Absolute, unadulterated football joy. Passion for the game. I can relate. I have been there. I have felt that joy. I have lived that passion.
Coach Paul Lane always preached the following on the priorities and perspective of football:

“Faith, Family, Football…in that order.”

Part 2

I no longer coach football. I miss it. It is like that phantom limb feeling you hear amputees describe about their missing arm or leg. It is there, but gone. The drive, passion and commitment hang in the air like a forgotten mist as I wonder where the young warriors have gone.

Part 3

I no longer coach football for a reason. What happened, you ask? The gory details are a rant for another day. But, the heart of the matter boils down to this simple fact: The 3rd F (Football) began to take too much away from the 1st F (Faith) and the 2nd F (Family). I allowed F3 to leap in front the the first two. I got off the track. I learned that F1 and F2 are what is really, really, really good and are what is really, really, really important.


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Behavioral Economics Short Course

Rest Day Read (SR-36)
#10 Economist George Loewenstein
on Behavioral Economics

Interview from Discover Magazine’s Top 100 Stories of 2009
“Behavioral economics provides a framework for explaining why people behave in a self-destructive fashion. It’s more realistic about human behavior.”
“Or take what is called the default effect: People tend to be lazy decision makers, taking the path of least resistance. And defaults are often unhealthy: At McDonald’s, for example, if you order a combo meal, the default includes a soda. We did field research at a fast-food restaurant showing that if you make the healthy options just slightly more convenient-for example, with an “express menu” that has healthy options but requires turning the page to see the full menu- you can get people to eat more healthily. You can use laziness to help people.”

Behavioral economics. Interesting stuff. The interview with Dr. Loewenstein is brief and to the point. The interview begins by addressing some of the reasons for the panic behavior with the economic meltdown of the past several years then spider webs out to a myriad of behaviors. It touches a mother-lode of information and explanation on the whys and hows of what happens when things unravel. As a coach, there’s many points in this interview that can be applied to team dynamics and individual performance. There are also points to help me understand and continue to work toward being a better human being. Good stuff!

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Preamble to the United States Constitution

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


I have always felt the most important and most beautiful three word in the entire United States Constitution, maybe even in the history of this great nation, are the first three, WE THE PEOPLE. Everything our country is about is right there in those three words. Everything our country was forged and fought for is right there in those three words. It is ALL about WE THE PEOPLE.

It is not the We the Three Branches of Government (which is the way our elected folk in Washington, DC have grown to think). It is not the We the Corporations of America (or whichever foreign entity own the majority shares.) It is not about one race, one group or one religion. It is not about landowners, homeless, rich, poor, smart, stupid, tall, short, incredibly sexy or incredibly unattractive. It is WE THE PEOPLE!

In the late 1700’s The Founding Fathers said WE THE PEOPLE and they damn well meant WE THE PEOPLE. After fighting and arguing for years to write the Constitution, these men truly understood the power of the collective, the power of WE THE PEOPLE. They knew, even all those years ago, that whatever changes and problems arise in technology, society and policy, WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES can fight through these and wind up a greater nation. They did not say it would be easy (take the Civil War, for example), but if we stand together and work together for the common good, we will emerge tall and proud.

The Founding Fathers were perhaps the greatest collective intellect in the history of modern civilization. They knew what the hell they were talking about. So we, the 2010 (and 2015) version of Americans, should swallow our excessive pride, boot our empty arrogance to the curb, heed the advice of the Founding Fathers and get back to the basics of WE THE PEOPLE.

Happy Independence Day!


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